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Full text of "The building of Auguste Perret in Alexandria : a case for preservation of modern Egyptian architecture : historic preservation defined"

university^ 

PENNSYLVANIA. 
LIBRARIES 




Historic Preservation Defined 



THE BUILDINGS OF AUGUSTE PERRET IN ALEXANDRIA: 
A CASE FOR PRESERVATION OF MODERN EGYPTIAN ARCHITECTURE 



Alaa Elwi El-Habashi 



A THESIS 



in 



Historic Preservation 



Presented to the faculties of the University of Pennsylvania in 
Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of 



MASTER OF SCIENCE 



1994 




'rofessc 
Advisor and Graduate Group Chairman" 




WWW\ 



Marco Frascark Professor, Architecture, Reader 



F1NCARTS /NA/O2-/1II4/ E^T- 



[ 



UftfVERSrTY 

OF 

PENNSYLVANIA 

UBRAR1E9 



To my mother and my father 



Acknowledgments 



"Praise be to God, Master of the world, the most gracious, 
the most merciful,. . ." 



My sincere gratitude to my advisor, mentor and friend: Professor David G. De 
Long. His courses on history and theory provided me with the intellectual 
background upon which this thesis was built. I shall acknowledge his 
interpretation, his generous advice and criticism, and his continuous 
encouragement during the preparation of this thesis. 

The academic guidance of the members of historic preservation and 
architectural program largely shaped this work. I am indebted to Professor 
Frank Matero whose interest and concern initiated the original idea of the 
research. A special thanks to Professor Samuel Harris for his encouragement 
during the academic program. My sincere appreciation and thanks is also 
extended to Professor Marco Frascari who kindly contributed a generous 
amount of time reading the complete draft of the thesis and provided me 
with significant advises. My gratitude goes also to Professor Renata Holod for 
her help guiding me to invaluable information and bibliographical sources. 

I would like to express thankfulness to my friends and colleagues, especially 
Magd Donia and Yasser Aref, who helped me to elaborate my themes through 
long discussions. I also wish to thank Dawn Melbourne for her several 
readings of the text and her editing of the manuscript. 

My thanks also to my family for their patience and support during the 
preparation of the thesis. 



-in 



ABSTRACT 

The Buildings of Auguste Perret in Alexandria: 
A case study for preservation of modern Egyptian architecture 

Alaa Elwi El-Habashi 

This thesis is a study of three specific structures designed by Auguste Perret 
for the nineteenth-century Wabour El Maya district in Alexandria, Egypt. 
Perret designed several buildings in Egypt. His Egyptian commissions, 
perhaps with the exception of the 1931-32 Cairene Awad Bey Villa, got little 
attention from both art historians and from Egyptian authorities. In this 
study, I will focus on the analysis of Perret's Alexandrine buildings 
particularly because they are the least covered by the literature. The 1926 
Alexandrine Villa Aghion, which was Perret's first commission in Egypt and 
the first Egyptian residential building to use exposed reinforced concrete, is in 
fact the only structure among Perret's Alexandrine buildings that historians 
included in the architect's list of designs. The study then confirms the 
attribution of these three existent buildings to their French architect. 

The thesis is neither a detailed history of the evolution of modern 
architecture in Egypt nor an affirmation of Auguste Perret's ingenious use of 
reinforced concrete. Rather, by limiting my study to these three buildings, I 
will try to define a new profile for Auguste Perret based on his respect for 
local building traditions. This intellectual profile is also confirmed by the 
architect's other non-European designs, as in the case of his Algerian, 
Moroccan, Lebanese, and Tunisian as well as other Egyptian structures. 
Perret's Alexandrine buildings, hence, affirm that the architect's specialty was 
not only reinforced concrete, but concrete used with respect for local 
traditions. 

I am inviting Egyptian authorities as well as world preservation 
organizations to shed light on modern Egyptian monuments which are 
exemplified in this research on Perret's buildings. It should be realized that 
Egypt is not only a rich museum of Pharaohs' temples and Arab mosques, but 
also a place of important modern buildings. The modern livable part of 
Egyptian history should not be kept in the shade of antiquities. 



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TABLE OF CONTENTS 

Dedication ii 

Acknowledgment iii 

Abstract iv 

Table of Contents v 

List of Illustrations vii 

Introduction 1 

PART I: Style and Materials in Egypt 19th- 20th centuries 

1. Style and materials in Egypt 19th- 20th centuries 5 

1.1. Stylistic evolution 6 

1.2. Early twentieth century 7 

1.2.1. European Building Industry in Egypt 9 

1.2.2. Reinforced Concrete: a new building material 10 

1.2.3. The initiation of building regulations 13 

1.3. Egyptian architects versus European architects 14 

1.3.1. Nationalism of the Egyptian architects 14 

1.3.2. European architects practicing in Egypt 17 

1.4. The First Pioneers 20 

1.4.1. Adolf Loos' Classical approach, 1910 20 

1.4.2. Eliel Saarinen: a design of Cairo hospital, 1921 22 

1.4.3. Wright's disassembled structure, 1927 23 

PART II: Analysis of Auguste Perret buildings in Alexandria 

2. Analysis of A. Perret's buildings in Alexandria: Introduction 26 

3. Auguste Perret 26 

3.1. Perret's life 26 

3.2. Ideas that influenced Perret's architecture 28 

3.2.1. Viollet-le-Duc 28 

3.2.2. Theories of Julian Guadet 29 

3.2.3. Architecture of Antiquities 30 

3.3. Perret's theory and practice 33 

3.3.1. Reinforced Concrete 33 

3.3.2. Columns 35 

3.3.3. Beams 37 



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3.3.4. Infill 38 

3.4. Steps towards modern mode of rational classicism 39 

3.5. Projects beyond France 41 

3.5.1. Europe (out of France) 41 

3.5.2. Algeria 42 

3.5.3. Morocco 43 

3.5.4. Tunisia and Lebanon 43 

4. Perret's designs for Egypt 44 

4.1. Hotel Particulier G. Aghion, 1926 49 

4.1.1. Hotel Particulier versus Palladian Villa 50 

4.1.2. Haramlek and Salamlek in Aghion's villa 52 

4.1.3. Perret's contemporary designs 52 

4.1.4. Architectural Description 53 

4.1.5. Perret's design as executed 57 

4.1.6. Villa Aghion and Clerget's description 61 

4.2. Two 'Immeubles de rapport': Edward Aghion 1932, 

and AlyYehia Bey, 1938-39 63 

4.2.1. Hotel Particulier versus Immeuble de rapport 63 

4.2.2. 'Immeuble de rapport': Edward Aghion, Rue 
Pasteur, Rue Saures, 1932 or 1933 66 

4.2.3. Immeuble de rapport Aly Yehia Bey, 1938-39 74 

4.2.4. Perret' s Interpretation of the building regulation 82 

5. Conclusion 85 

5.1. Haramlek; a social respect 85 

5.2. Design for hot/ humid climate; Sun breakers 87 

5.3. Perret sings the oriental 91 

5.4. Antiquities' law and Perret's Alexandrine buildings 92 

5.5. Reinforced Concrete: Analytical Survey 93 

5.5.1. Importance of the analysis 93 

5.5.2. Analytical methodology 94 

Appendix I: Auguste Perret: Building list 97 

Appendix II: Reinforced concrete: Analysis techniques 128 

Bibliography 131 



•vi- 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Figure (1): Abbasiya Hospital, details, Cairo, 1939. Mahmoud Riyad, architect. (Volait, 

L' Architecture Moderne en Egypte et le Revue El Emara 1939-59, CEDEJ. 

Cairo 1989, fig. 9, p. 46) 
Figure (2): The Mausoleum of Sa'd Zaghlul, Cairo, 1928. (Volait, LArchitecture 

Moderne en Egypte et le Revue El Emara 1939-59, CEDEJ. Cairo 1989, fig. 

9, p. 41) 
Figure (3): Islamic congress Hall, Cairo, 1957. Sayyid Karim, architect. (Abdel-Gawad, 

' Amaliqa El Emmara fi el Karn el Eshreen, The Pioneers of Architecture in 

the 20th Century, Cairo. 1989, p. 310) 
Figure (4): Apartment building, Alexandria. G. A. Loria, architect. (Awad, Italy in 

Alexandria "Egypt", Annual International Symposium of "Presence of Italy 

in the Architecture and the Urbanism of the Mediterranean Musulman 

Countries 1869-1990", La Sapienza, 1990.) 
Figure (5): Italian School in Chatby, Alexandria, 1931-1934, Clemente Busiri-Vici, 

architect. (Photographed by the author, December, 1993) 
Figure (6): Perspective of a Department Store (Stein), Alexandria, 1910. Adolf Loos, 
architect, water colored by R. Wels. (MUnz and Kunstler, Adolf Loos; Pioneer 
of modern Architecture, Frederick A. Praeger: New York, 1966, p. 129) 
Figure (7): Cairo hospital, competition entry. Eliel Saarinen, 1921. (Hausen; Mikkola;. 

Amberg and Valto, Eliel Saarinen; Projects 1896-1923, MIT press: 

Cambridge, MA, 1990, p. 212 and 334) 
Figure (8): Ras-el-Bar, Vacation Cabins by the Sea, Dumyat, Egypt, 1927, Frank Lloyd 

Wright, architect. General Layout and perspective. (Pfeiffer, Frank Lloyd 

Wright Monograph 1924-1036, A.D.A Edita Tokyo, 1985, vol. 5 p. 46) 
Figure (9): Egyptian lotiform column. Interior of Notre Dame de Raincy (Jamot, A.-G. 

Perret et LArchitecture du B^ton Arm£, Paris: Librairie Nationale d'Art et 

d'Histoire, 1927, pi. XXIV) 
Figure (10): Auguste Perret's columns: fluting technique, capital and shaft, (by the 

author) 
Figure (11): Possible relations between columns and beams, (by the author) 
Figure (12): Detail of the pyramidal shape pre-cast units. (Pcnrt, Techniques & 

Architecture, No. 1-2, October 1949, p. 87) 



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Figure (13): Downtown Alexandria, airospace photograph, April 1977, by S.F.F-I.G.N 

(France), reduced from original scale 1:5000, Egyptian Cartographic 

Department, Al-Manchia, Alexandria. 
Figure (14): The three Perret's building in Alexandria. (Map extracted from the detailed 

Maps of Alexandria, April 1935, original scale 1:500, Egyptian 

Cartographic Department, Al-Manchia, Alexandria). 
Figure (15): Villa Aghion, A. Perret architect. Ground floor plan as executed, scale 

1:200. (by the author) 
Figure (16): Chateau de Champs, 18th century. (Guadet, Elements et Theories 

d'Architecture, volume II, p. 44). 
Figure (17): Villa Aghion, the North-Western entrance facade. (Photographed by the 

author) 
Figure (18): Villa Aghion, plan and longitudinal section. (Fanelli & Gargiani, Auguste 

Perret Editori Laterza, 1991, fig 133) 
Figure (19): Villa Aghion, west elevation. (Photographed by the author) 
Figure (20): Villa Aghion, west side, the separate structure at the entrance gate used as 

salamlek. (Photographed by the author) 
Figure (21): Villa Aghion, courtyard , right after its completion (Perret, Noted by Marcel 

Mayer, A. & G. Perret; 24 Phototypies, Les Albums D'Art Druet XVI, Paris: 

Librairie de France, 1928). 
Figure (22): Villa Aghion, Eastern facade, Western facade. (Fanelli & Gargiani, Auguste 

Perret, Editori Laterza, 1991, fig. 130-131) 
Figure (23): A reconstructed drawing of Perret's landscape design of villa Aghion, 

published in L'architecture d'Aujourd'hui, April 1937. (by the author) 
Figure (24): Villa Aghion, existing condition of the courtyard, (photographed by the 

author) 
Figure (25): Villa Aghion, the semi round porch of the eastern facade, (photographed by 

the author) 
Figure (26): South block of the Immobiha building, the corner of Cherif and Qasr al-Nil 

streets, Cairo. Designed in 1937, completed in 1940. (Volait, 

L'Architecture Moderne en Egypte et le Revue El Emara 1939-59, CEDEJ. 

Cairo 1989, p. 63) 
Figure (27): Immeuble Aghion. Reconstruction drawing of Perret's design, (by the author) 
Figure (28): Immeuble Aghion. Reconstruction drawing the existing building, (by the 

author) 



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Figure (29): Immeuble Aghion, corner of Pasteur and Saur#s streets, east and west 

elevations, (photographed by the author) 
Figure (30): Geometrical proportions of Perret's public buildings: Theatre des Champs- 

Elys^es, 1911-13; Alfred Cortot concert hall, 1929; and Aghion immeuble 

de rapport, 1932. (Fanelli & Gargiani, Auguste Perret, Editon Laterza, 

1991, fig. 155-157). 
Figure (31): Immeuble Edward Aghion, north facade, (photographed by the author) 
Figure (32): Aly Yehia building, south-eastern elevation, scale 1:200. The elevation is 

drawn upon the Fanelli's first floor plan and site visits, (by the author) 
Figure (33): Aly Yehia building North corner, Intersection of Kukh and Belhars street. 

(photographed by the author) 
Figure (34): Aly Yehia building, north western corner, Belhars street, (photographed by 

the author) 
Figure (35): Aly Yehia building, south eastern facade, projection of first floor bay 

window, (photographed by the author) 
Figure (36): Aly Yehia building, south eastern facade, first floor bay window projection. 

(photographed by the author) 
Figure (37): Aly Yehia apartment building, first floor plan, redrawn from Fanelli's 

published drawing, scale 1:200. (extracted from Fanelli fig. 227, drawn by 

the author) 
Figure (38): Example of two prototype apartment buildings. Abd al-Mun'im Anf 

(Handassa al-'imara), 1932. (Volait, Grandes demeures du Caire an siecle 

V ass ?> Les Cahiers de la recherche architectural. No. 20-21, 1987, p. 93) 
Figure (39): Aghion's and Yehia's building site, (by the author) 
Figure (40): Le corbusier, "En bahssant moderne, on a trouv^ l'accord avec le paysage, le 

climat, et la tradition". (Le Corbusier, CEuvre complete 1938-1946, vol. 4, 

p. 123) 
Figure (41): Aly Yehia building, south eastern facade, entrance gate, (photographed by 

the author) 
Figure (42): Evolution of Perret's concrete blocks design. The drawings are not scaled, 

they are only proportioned from photographs, or Perret's design-drawings. 

(by the author). 
Figure (43): Tones in the Arabic music, by Habib Hassan Touma, La Musique Arabe. 

Paris, 1977.(Volait, L'Architecture Moderne en Egypte et le Revue EI 

Emara 1939-59. CEDEJ. Cairo 1989, p. 106). 



-IX- 



INTRODUCTION 

Passing by the nineteenth-century Wabour El Maya district in Alexandria, 
Egypt, I always admired three buildings. I was told during my education in 
the architectural department at Alexandria University that one of these 
buildings (Villa Aghion) was built by the French architect Auguste Perret. No 
further information was available either on this villa or on the other two 
buildings. However, I always felt that there was something which related 
them to each other. It was not until the preparation of a presentation on 
Auguste Perret that I read the most recent book on Auguste Perret (Fanelli 
and Gargiani, 1991). Reviewing the list of Perret's buildings at the end of this 
book, I realized that the three Alexandrine buildings are included. The 
common factor linking these buildings is then the architect. Surprisingly, 
Fanelli and Gargiani stated that Perret's Alexandrine designs, with the 
exception of Villa Aghion, were never executed. Knowing that among 
Perret's designs these three structures are the least covered by the literature, I 
decided to devote my thesis research to studying them and confirming their 
attribution to Auguste Perret. Moreover, the analysis of these buildings as 
well as Perret's non-European designs allows me to draw a new profile for 
Auguste Perret based on his understanding of local environments, affirming 
that the architect's specialty was not only reinforced concrete, but concrete 
used with respect for local traditions. 

The research is divided into two main parts: the first is a brief review of the 
evolution of architecutral style and the use of building materials in 
nineteenth and twentieth-century Egypt ; the second is an analysis of Auguste 
Perret's buildings built in the 1920s and 30's in Alexandria. The first part 
includes a discussion of the relationship between European styles imported to 
Egypt and the Nationalist movement that flourished at that time. Egyptian 
architects, neglecting vernacular and traditional values, were struggling to 
express their nationalism by "Egyptianizing" their buildings either by 
introducing Islamic or Egyptian motifs. Meanwhile, one of the most 
important results of the process of adaptation and borrowing from western 
methods was the wide application of reinforced concrete. This application 
was the outcome of European architects contributing to the Occident and 
responding to the new socio-economic and technological conditions in Egypt. 



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The aim of the research is not to criticize the European influence on Egyptian 
architecture. Instead, it admits that this European influence characterizes 
nineteenth and twentieth-century Egyptian cities. It is by studying this 
influence that one can understand the different parameters under which 
Egyptian architecture is currently developing. For that reason, I felt obliged to 
include work by some of the world's most important architects (for example 
Adolf Loos, Eliel Sarrinen, Frank Lloyd Wright) who built or proposed to 
build in Egypt. The awareness of such treasures could make local authorities 
as well as world preservation organizations realize that Egypt is not only a 
rich museum of antiquities but also a house of important modern buildings. 
And because examples are few and not well covered by the literature, these 
designs need immediate preservation attention. Moreover, Egyptian 
Antiquity law, which stipulates a minimum age of a hundred years for 
registering a building as part of the National heritage, must be reconsidered. 

The second part of the thesis will exemplify modern Egyptian monuments by 
focusing on the work of Auguste Perret in Egypt. Unlike his contemporary 
"first generation modern pioneers" who did little work in Egypt, Perret got 
several design commissions in both Alexandria and Cairo. Most of these 
commissions are not only ignored by Egyptian authorities, but also neglected 
by art historians and architectural writers. It is sufficient to know, as stated 
before, that two of these buildings are not yet listed among Perret's designs in 
most of the architect's building lists developed by art historians. Paul Jamot, 
Marcel Zahar, Bernard Champigneulle and Peter Collins are the most 
noteworthy of these writers. It was only, as far as I know, in Fanelli and 
Gargiani's 1991 Italian book that these buildings were included as Perret's, 
although the authors claimed that they were never executed. Consequently, I 
will focus on these three buildings to confirm their attribution to Perret, and 
to present a case for preservation of modern Egyptian architecture. I will next 
address the question of how Perret influenced architecture in Egypt, and in 
turn, how existing Egyptian architecture influenced his work. 

Since the reinforced concrete of these buildings is generally in good condition, 
Perret's construction methods and techniques should be analyzed in order to 
develop standards for the material's use in Egypt. A detailed plan for this 
analytical study is included. Its results will be important to upgrade the 



reinforced concrete construction techniques that are the dominant means of 
construction practiced in Egypt today. 

Note on research difficulties 

During my research I confronted some difficulties that had arisen because of 
scarcity and often unavailability of statistical data. This is especially true in 
developing countries where most construction activities are carried out by 
individuals or groups that leave little or no documentation of their activities 
for analysis. Official records or documents are rare, inaccessible and, in many 
cases, unreliable. I experienced other obstacles during my site survey. I 
conducted several visits to Alexandria in the summer of 1992 and 1993 to 
investigate Perret's buildings in Wabour El Maya district. However, it was 
not possible for me to get close to the buildings because of the strict local 
security system applied in Egypt at that time. Nevertheless, the information 
and the photographs that could be gathered were sufficient to direct the 
research. Closer exterior investigation, interior analysis, and owners' 
interviews could open new insights, or might nullify some hypotheses that 
could have been incorrect due to my investigation from a distance. 

Note on Illustrations 

Two sets of illustrations are provided in the thesis: the first accompanies the 
text and illustrates a particular item; the second is gathered in Appendix I. 
The latter is a chronological collection of some of Auguste Perret's building 
drawings and photographs. During my description of each of Perret's 
buildings, I will refer to a number of an entry that will be shown into 
parentheses, as following: (entry #). This number coincides with the one in 
Appendix I. This will enable the reader to get a quick glimpse of the building 
to which I am referring. It will also help to formulate a brief understanding 
of the buildings that Perret built before and after this particular entry. 

Note on Transliteration 

In the text I have generally followed a simple transliteration of Arabic names, 
terms, and titles. In the text and in Appendix i, I maintained the French 
spelling for the well-known names of Auguste Perret's buildings. 
Consequently, I mostly kept the names in the form that they have appeared 
in both English and French publications. 



Part I 



Style and Materials in Egypt 19th-20th centuries 



1. Style and materials in Egypt 19th-20th centuries 

The first image that one can get once 'Egypt' is mentioned, is the Pharaonic 
Temples, or may be some of the Muslims monumental mosques. Since 
people often forget that Egypt is still a living country, the modern side of 
Egyptian cities is neglected. Even the Egyptian Antiquity law stipulates a 
minimum age of 100 years to designate a building as a historical monument. 
This chapter, though, will be an attempt to shed light on modern Egyptian 
architecture. During the investigation, the study will focus, in particular, on 
the early twentieth century. This will enable us to understand of the 
parameters, regulations and influences under which Egyptian architecture 
developed in general. It will also allow us to conduct a more specific research 
of the modern pioneers who built or designed in Egypt. A step further will be 
taken in the following part of the thesis to analyze Auguste Perret's (1874- 
1954), one of those pioneers, use of reinforced concrete in his Alexandrine 
buildings. 

1.1. Stylistic evolution 

In this section, modern Architectural history will be briefly described, 
showing the most important moments in which Egyptian architecture 
experienced a distinguished development or perhaps a major shift from its 
evolutionary line. A special focus on the architecture in Egypt after the reign 
of khedive Ismail (1863-79), especially at the turn of the twentieth century, 
will be discussed in the following sections of this chapter. 

In order to analyze Egyptian modern history, one should first understand that 
the reign of Muhammad Ali (1805-48) was a turning point in the history of 
Egypt. Historians consider this period as the start-up point of the history of 
'modern' Egypt since from this moment Egypt was exposed to the West-the 
European cultural, social and political life. Therefore, architectural history in 
Egypt after the age of Pharos and before the 1952 Revolution, could be 
classified, as well, into two categories, considering the reign of Muhammad 
Ali as a break-point. For the purpose of the research, only architectural styles 
and building materials will be investigated. 

The first architectural category flourished in Egypt after the Arab conquest of 
Egypt in 641, and ended in 1805 with the reign of Muhammad Ali. During 



this thousand years, Egypt experienced many changes in architectural styles 
that always coincided with political environments. This intimate 
relationship between politics and architecture in Egypt at that time is briefly 
summarized by Sakr, in a recent publication. Sakr shows the evolution of 
architecture during this period of time, investigating the Fatimid 
monumental architecture until 1171; the Ayyubid arabesque (1171-1250), 
Bahri Mamluk salactite profiles (1250-1382), Circassian Mamluk geometrical 
patterns (1382-1517), Ottoman period and its pencil-like minarets (1517-1805) 
during which Egypt exhibited the French expedition (1798-1801). Sakr also 
shows external influences, for example the Coptic, Byzantine, Samarran, 
Mongol, Persian and Timurid art and architecture. 1 

During the reign of Muhammad Ali, Egypt witnessed a gradual decline of 
'traditional architecture' and a break in its evolution. Muhammad Ali 
exported to Egypt Turkish architecture which had already been influenced by 
Europe. Relations with the West became stronger during the reign of 
Muhammad Ali's family who ruled Egypt for 147 years from 1805 until 1952. 2 
A chronological review of the literature that dealt with architectural style in 
Egypt after the reign of Muhammad Ali shows an interesting evolution. The 
traditional private house before 1800s was made of bricks and stone, either 
plastered over or left bare. The roof was flat, covered with a coat of plaster, 
while the windows were made in the mashrabiyya style (window with 
latticework screen of carved wood) and rarely contained glass. However, 
Egyptians from the 1820s until Ismail's reign had begun to build dwellings 
following European modes of classical revivalism in what Clerget calls 'Style 
Grec' or 'Style Italien.' 3 



1 Mohamed Sakr, Early Twentieth-Century Islamic Architecture in Cairo, The 
American University in Cairo Press, 1992, pp. 1-7. 

2 The members of the royal family were: Muhammad Ali, 1805-1848; Ibrahim Pasha, 
April 1848-August 1848; Abbas Pasha I, 1848-1854; Said Pasha, 1854-1863; Khedive Ismail 
Pasha, 1863-1879; Khedive Tawfik, 1879-1892; Khedive Abbas Helmy II, 1892-1914; Sultan 
Hussein Kamal, 1914-1917; King Fouad I, 1917-1936; King Farouk I, 1936-1952. 

3 "C'est surtout a partir du regne de Mohammed Ali que succes du plan a l'europeene s'est 
affirme, d'abord pour des raisons de mode, ensuite par necessite de s'accomoder aux conditions 
nouvelles de la vie. Vers 1800, on appelait ce style le style grec. . . Puis vint le style a 
l'italienne, avec leas galeries a arcades, les larges balcons . . ." Clerget, Le Caire, vol. I, Cairo, 
1934, pp. 324-25. Clerget later in his book criticizes style italien because Tabsence de gout 
explique les ornementations ridicules, les frontons pretentieux, les faux balcons de bois, le faux 
style italien, " Clerget, p. 344. 

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The utmost connection with the West, especially Paris, was during Khedive 
Ismail's reign (1863-79). Among the Khedive's concerns was, for example, to 
establish Cairo as Paris of the Orient. Moreover, he made the French architect 
De Curel Del Rosso, the designer of Abdin Palace, his assistant. Consequently, 
not only building contractors were imported from Europe, 4 but also European 
architects were entrusted in the field of architectural design in the Egyptian 
cities during the 19th and the early 20th century. Most of Egyptian buildings, 
thus, were very similar to those erected in Paris or Rome, in their use of stone 
and plaster decoration, of marbles for steps and entrances, and increasingly 
elaborate iron-work. Egyptian architecture lost a remarkable amount of its 
traditions especially with khedive Ismail's reign in 1863, which declared a 
period of rapid construction in Egypt. 

Around the year 1900, a second important change took place with the 
introduction of reinforced concrete. Reinforced concrete provided means tall 
buildings with the required strength to stand firmly on the muddy soil close 
to the Nile, and the use of cement and iron-work used in building (1900-1908) 
offered a sharp decline in the price of construction. 5 The use of this new 
construction material announced the rise of a new twentieth century 
architecture in Egypt. 

1.2. Early twentieth century 

Owen points to a second period of rapid construction in Egypt, after Khedive 
Ismail's, which was the beginning of the 1890s, "given impetus by Egypt's 
increasing prosperity, by the growth in the number of foreigners, both 
residents and tourists, and the great enlargement of government activity." 
He explains the reason of this boom, considering the Tanzim department of 
the Ministry of Public Works files as his basis, by saying: 



4 For examples, see Janet Abu-Lughod, Cairo 1001 years of City Victorious, Princeton 
1971, pp. 105-106. 

5 For architectural style before the 1820s, see Edward Lane An Account of the Manners 
and Customs of the Modern Egyptians. Vol. 1, London, 1863, pp. 6-11; see M. Clerget, Le Caire, 
Vol. 1, Cairo, 1934, p. 309, 324 for the architectural style from the 1820s until Ismail reign; and 
see Rapport de la Commission du Commerce et de L'lndustne, Cairo 1922, p. 158, also Annuaire 
Statistique, Cairo,1914, p. 381 for the introduction of reinforced concrete to Egypt, and for its 
convenient price as oppose to the high price of the locally-produced materials at the time. 



In the decade between 1897 and the financial crisis of 1907, when the 
boom was at its height, the value of the cotton harvest doubled, 
Europeans invested almost as much money in Egyptian companies as 
they lent to Ismail, . . . The result was a huge and ever-growing 
demand for shops and offices, flats and hotels, which pushed land 
values up to astronomical heights. 6 

Referring to the National Bank report, published in 1948, which investigates 
the Egyptian Economic conditions from 1898 to 1948, one can deduce some 
political and economical events that had remarkable influences on the urban 
and architectural development of the country during that time. The first 
world war in 1918, for example, had ended with general inflation and political 
disturbance. The report shows that "the end of the war found Egypt in a 
period of prosperity. . . Egypt was inevitably affected by the post-war 
difficulties of other nations and had to adjust herself to the post-war boom 
and slump of 1921 and then again, after a period of relative prosperity, to the 
shock of the 'economic blizzard' of 1929-30 and the new currency disturbances 
which followed 1931." 7 

A direct result of this crisis was the introduction of blocks of flats with an 
average height of five to seven stories. The use of reinforced concrete as a 
structural material encouraged this trend. These blocks were mainly owned 
by individuals and rented to middle and lower class families. Their rent was 
imposed by the municipal authority according to the quality of the 
residencies. Unfortunately, a Rent Control law, started in 1940, froze all rents 
set at that time, and in the early 60's restrictions and even further reductions 
were made by the Revolutionary Government, dropping the return on 
income of landlords well below realistic values. Since that time landowners 
started to sell the dwellings to avoid the fixed rent system, and to earn 
immediate economical profit. This phenomenon led to a poor selection of 
building materials, and a cheap method of construction. It also led to the lack 
of attention that landlords would provide to their apartments' blocks. 



6 RogerOvven, I'he Cairo Building Industry and the Building Boom of 1897 to 1907, in 
Collogue International Sur L'Histoire du Cairo, Ministry of Culture of the Arab Republic of 
Egypt, General Egyptian Book Organization, 25 Mars-5 Avril 1969, pp. 337-350. 

7 National Bank of Egypt 1898-1948, Year Book 1984, Cairo: N.B.E. Printing Press, Rod 
El Farag 1949, p. 48. 



1.2.1. European Building Industry in Egypt 

The trend, started during Ismail's reign, to import foreign architects, building 
firms, and contractors continued in Egypt until the 1950s. Owen shows, 
according to 1917 census on workers in the Egyptian building industry, that 
numbers of the workers in each field of building industry; stone cutters, lime 
plasterer, roofers, locksmiths, carpenters, painters and unskilled laborers, 
contained a large percentage of Europeans. He also refers to a study by Jean 
Vallet to demonstrate that "the general ratio was four Egyptians to one 
European, with the exception of zincmen and plumbers, where the numbers 
were about there was a ratio of four Europeans to one Egyptian." He clearly 
states that the majority of Europeans were Italians and Greeks. Owen also 
show Vallet's notes on the annual migration of "Italian peasants who came 
to work in Egypt from November to March each winter when activities in 
their own fields were suspended." 8 From different kinds of statistical sources, 
Owen is able to conclude that the largest building firms were European, and 
that many of them had been founded by Italians. 9 Not only were they in 
charge of construction activities in Egypt, but also introduced new materials 
and techniques to the field. Volait, for example, points to the Naples' 
entrepreneur Nicola Marciani who was the first to use reinforced concrete in 
Egypt, according to Hennebique system, in the construction of a factory in 
Cairo, 1895. 10 



8 Roger Owen, The Cairo Building Industry and the Building Boom of 1897 to 1907, in 
Collogue International Sur L'Histoire du Caire, Ministry of Culture of the Arab Republic of 
Egypt, General Egyptian Book Organization, 25 Mars-5 Avril 1969, pp. 340-341. Owen in his 
study refers to Ministry of Finance, Statistical Dept, The Census of Egypt taken in 1917, Vol. II, 
Cairo, 1921, pp. 14-275, and Jean Vallet's work published as Contribution a 1'Etude de la 
Condition desQuvners de la Grande Industrie au Caire. Valence, 1911, p. 6. Clerget mentions 
this seasonal European workers. See Clerget, Le Caire, vol. II, Cairo, 1934, p. 284. 

9 R. Owen, p. 341. Owen refers here to a description of the leading building firms 
contained in A. Wright (ed.), Twentieth Century Impressions of Egypt, London, 1909, pp. 322-69. 

lc This factory is considered one of the first buildings in the world that follows the 
Hennebique system. For a complete list of these buildings, see Perret, Techniques & 
Architecture, No. 1-2, October 1949, p. 46. Marciani was also the first contractor to use 
reinforced concrete in Egypt in 1863. See Mercedes Volait, La Communaute Italienne est ses 
Ediles, in La Revue de L'Occident Musulman et de la Meditcrranee; Alexandne entre deux 
mondes, no: 46, fourth trimester, 1987, p. 143. 



1.2.2. Reinforced Concrete: a new building material 

In order to draw an image of the building industry in Egypt at the turn of the 
century, one should analyze the building materials available at the time. For 
the purpose of this research, a special focus will be directed to reinforced 
concrete. From the time of its introduction to Egypt, in 1863 by the contractor 
Nicola Marciani, there were lot of interesting events that happened in Egypt 
related to the worldwide use of reinforced concrete. It is sufficient to know 
that Francois Coignet, who is considered among the first leaders to pour 
reinforced concrete, constructed the buildings for the Suez Canal Company in 
1892-95, at Port-Tewfik and Port-Said. Moreover, Francois Hennebique, 
whose understanding of the material enabled him to invent his own system 
of construction, erected the Alexandrine train station, 1909. In addition, 
Marciani's factory in Cairo, 1895, was one of the first buildings that followed 
the Hennebique constructional system. 11 In addition to these facts, knowing 
that the reinforced concrete remains, nowadays, the main, if not the only, 
constructional material in Egypt, research and analysis should be conducted to 
understand its behavior and deterioration procedures, and its suitability to 
the vernacular and environmental architecture. 

There are number of important questions which have never been asked, as 
far as I know, about certain aspects of the introduction of the reinforced 
concrete in Egypt. It is clear that this discipline must have been the recipient 
of large sums of money from public and private sources. To what extent was 
this investment controlled by foreigners? Who were the contractors and 
their labor skills? How many of the primary materials used were locally 
produced and how many came from abroad? These are all questions which 
require an answer if we are to have a proper understanding of the evolution 
of the building activity in Egypt in the 19th and the 20th centuries. 

Unfortunately, there is a lack of historic information that deals with the 
answers to these questions. In this section, I will depict a few attempts that 
tackle the question of the building materials, especially the reinforced 
concrete. These attempts had never been pursued or elaborated. Further 



1 T/'errer, Techniques & Architecture, No. 1-2, October 1949, pp. 39-46. 

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studies should be proceeded in this field. The main studies that I will be 
referring to are: Marcel Clergets, 1934; Roger Owen's, 1969; and some articles 
published in the 1'Egypte Contemporaine in the 20's and the 30s. 1 2 

Cement 

It is not clear in the literature when exactly the cement industry began in 
Egypt. However, Clerget states that it was not before 1900 that this industry 
began to be well developed and ameliorated. Clerget and Owen show that 
one of the largest and most important firms in Egypt, founded after 1900, is 
the Belgian S. A. des Ciments d'Egypte with its factory at Toura-Massara, 
which produced 25.000 tons of cement per year. 13 In addition to Massara 
factory, Clerget shows Helouan factory, 1930, which produced 100.000 tons per 
year, and Ghamra cement factory, near Cairo which produced reinforced 
concrete pipes with variable dimensions. 14 

However, Owen shows that "the low external tariff of 8% was insufficient to 
prevent a high degree of foreign competition, and there was no way of 
persuading the British authorities to raise it." It was for this reason, above all, 
that the S. A. des Ciments made a series of annual losses between 1907 and 
1910. Owen adds that "Portland Cement could then be imported into Egypt at 
the price at which it scarcely paid to compete." 15 Nevertheless, regardless of 
its high cost, there was an enormous demand for imported cement. Evidence 
that shows this, is that its importation augmented from 258,000 LE in 1924 to 
427,000 LE in 1925. 16 With the rise of Torah cement factory, 1927, and the 



12 See also Mohammed Avvad, The Impact of Economic Change on the Structure and 
Function of the Building Industry in Egypt (1925-1985), a doctoral dissertation presented to the 
Department of Architecture, Alexandria University, 1992, pp. 139-146. 

13 Clerget says that this cement shows excellent quality in the construction of the Nile- 
bridges. Clerget, Le_CajI£, vol. II, Cairo, 1934, p. 282. See also Roger Owen, The Cairo Building 
Industry and the Building Boom of 1897 to 1907, in Collogue International Sur L'Histoire du 
Caire, Ministry of Culture of the Arab Republic of Egypt, General Egyptian Book Organization, 
25 Mars-5 Avril 1969, p. 346. 

14 Ibid., p. 283. 

15 RogerOwen, The Cairo Building Industry and the Building Boom of 1897 to 1907, in 
Collogue International Sur L'Histoire du Caire, Ministry of Culture of the Arab Republic of 
Egypt, General Egyptian Book Organization, 25 Mars-5 Avril 1969, p. 346. 

16 I. G. Levi, L'Tgypte vue a travers I'Annuaire de Statistique, L'Egypte Contemporaine, 
1928. 



-11- 



expansion of Massara factory, 1931, local cement production then became 
competitive with the imposition of customs tariff on imported cement. 

The period of World War II (1938-45) and after, demonstrates the British 
kinship to develop and encourage the expansion of local industries in order 
to satisfy the needs of the war. The British, then, emphasized the cement 
production and ceased its importation from Europe. Among the most 
important companies that emerged at that time is the Alexandria Portland 
Cement Co., 1948. 17 

Steel 

Metal industries remained little developed in Egypt. Clerget, when describing 
the metal industry in Egypt, does not mention any iron or steel manufactures 
that produce concrete reinforcement bars. 18 Owen clearly states that iron, as 
many other building materials, was obtained from abroad. Although he did 
not specify from where the iron was imported to Egypt, he shows, in a table- 
like comparison, that there were three kinds of imported iron: Iron and steel- 
work (batus ou lamines); 'fer fondu ouvre'; and non specified iron and steel- 
work. From this table, one can conclude that, at the turn of twentieth 
century, iron was the second imported building material after wood. 19 

Similar to the cement industry, the period of World War II demonstrates the 
British kinship to develop and encourage the metal production and 
discontinued its importation from Europe. Among the most important 
metal companies that emerged at that time were the Societe Egyptienne pour 
Fer et Acier, Helwan, 1954, and the Construction Metallique d'Egypt (Egymet) 
established in 1896 registered and reorganized in 1953. 20 



17 For a list of companies that emerged at that time see Awad, p. 142. 

18 Clerget describes the large industry related to the copper, bron/e. For the iron and 
the precious metals (gold an silver), Clerget states that they were limited to small scale 
atelier or to certain social ethnic or religious groups. Clerget, Le Caire, vol. I, Cairo, 1934, pp. 
273-279. 

1 9 Roger Owen, pp. 346-347. 

20 For the list of companies that emerged at that time see Awad, p. 142. 

-12- 



1.2.3. The initiation of building regulations 

For the first time in the history of Muhammad Ali's ruling family, King Fuad 
issued a constitution for the kingdom of Egypt on April 9, 1923 and 
established the first parliament. This constitution was a starting point in the 
regulation of several chaotic Egyptian disciplines that existed at the time. An 
example of these disciplines was the city planning and building regulations. 
Considering the economic crisis that Egypt experienced from 1926, caused by 
the reduction of the Egyptian cotton value and the effects of the first world 
war, one can assume that the local municipalities did not have the time to 
devote to monitor planning and regulations for city development. 
Nevertheless, confronting local population growth and European 
immigration, Egyptian local authorities realized that under these 
circumstances planning and building regulations were essential issues which 
needed to be addressed to manage this rapid evolution. 

The first building regulations enforced in Egypt were in Alexandria. These, 
however, were incomplete from a town-planning point of view, despite the 
fact that in May, 1923, the Municipality obtained the approval from the 
Government to supplement the current regulations with certain Town 
Planning Clauses. It will be necessary for the analysis conducted later on 
Auguste Perret's Alexandrine structures built in the 1920s and 30's, to state 
'The New Lay-Out' part of these regulations. 21 The applicability of these 
regulations will be then investigated. 

a) Certain quarters and streets of the Town can be reserved by the 
Municipality exclusively as residential. 

b) At least one side of each block of land to be used for building shall 
front on to a public street. 

c) All building land of which the area, shape or position of the site 
makes it impossible to apply paragraph (b) in regard to existing public 
streets shall be considered as a new lay-out. 

d) In all new lay-outs for building purposes the proprietors must 
reserve for streets which will become public an area equal to one-third 
of the total area to be laid out. In the case of existing streets bordering 



•-'The regulations consists of 4 main sections under the following headings: (l)Nevv Lay- 
Out, (2)Plannmg of Streets, (3)Width of Streets, Carriageways and Footpaths, (4)Angles to be 
Splayed or Rounded. 



-13- 



the land to be laid out, half the width of these streets shall be included 
in the calculation of the required area of one-third of the total. 

e) All lay-out plans or planning schemes must be based on the 
alignments shown on the general Plan of the city approved by the 
Municipality on June 15th, 1921 (City of Alexandria) Town Planning 
Scheme) on which, however, the Municipality may make 
modifications. 

f) All plans dealing with the alignment, width, arrangement and 
levels of streets must be approved by the Municipality. 

g) No construction can be commenced before the approval of the 
Municipality had been obtained. 22 

These regulations contained the necessary provisions for giving effect to a 
successful town planning scheme. They included the proper laying out of 
undeveloped or unbuilt areas as well as the improvement of built areas, the 
width and alignment of streets and footpaths, the area of street surface in 
relation to the total area of land, and the respect of the historic or religious 
monuments. 23 However, no control on the facades of buildings was 
attempted, but good suitable architecture was encouraged by the 
Municipality. 24 

1.3. Egyptian architects versus European architects 

1.3.1. Nationalism of the Egyptian architects 

Twentieth-century Egyptian architecture was a product of both European and 
Egyptian architects. At the end of the 20s, several Egyptian architects who 
received their architectural education in Europe came back to Egypt and 
started to take over the building activity there. Among those architects, Abdel 
Gawad includes: Mustafa Pacha Mahmoud Fahmy, Aly Bey Labib Gabr, 



22 For a complete account of these additions, see M. Riad, Alexandria: Its Town Planning 
Development, The Town planning Review, vol. XV No. 4, December, 1933, pp. 233-248. 

23 The last consideration, in which the historic and the religious monuments should be 
respected, was a new trend towards the preservation of the Egyptian heritage. Earlier, during 
the reign of Ismail, Ali Moubarak, the minister of the public instruction, said: "A-t-on besom de 
tant de monuments? Quand on conserve un echantillon, cela ne suffit-il pas?". He also added 
talking about Bab Zouila, which was a famous place for criminals execution in Fatimid Cairo, 
"Nousne voulons plus deces souvenirs-la; nous devonslesdetruirecomme les Francais on detruit 
la Bastille." Quoted from Marcel Clerget, Le Caire, vol. I, Cairo, 1934, p. 337. 

24 The Municipality used to give prizes to the architects of the three best buildings 
erected during the year, while the proprietors had the taxes on these buildings remitted for a 
year. Ibid., p. 247. 

-14- 



Mohamed bey Raafat, Abou Bakr Khayrat, Mahmoud Riyad, and others. 25 
The first generation Egyptian architects, 26 who returned from scholarly 
missions to Europe between 1908 and 1931, became the nuclei of the 
development of a new 'national architectural style'. Though, some of them 
followed the European modes that they studied abroad. 

It should be added that the concern with nationalism existed as early as 
Orabi's revolution which started in 1882 during the British occupation. The 
general Nationalism movement which was kept dormant until the 1919 
Sa'd's revolution rapidly extended in Egypt after the first world war. That 
revolution aimed to give practical expression to the national spirit, of which 
one aspect was architecture. 




Figure (1): Abbasiya Hospital, details, Cairo, 1939. Mahmoud Riyad, architect. (Volait, p. 4fe) 

Apart from those who followed European modes of architecture, Egyptian 
architects fell into three groups debating to define what modern Egyptian 
architecture should look like. The first group saw a revivalism of Mamluk 
architecture is the only answer since the Mamluk mode of architecture is the 
only Islamic mode that originally flourished in Egypt. 27 A perfect example of 



25 Tawfik Abdel Gavvad, ' Amaliqa El Emmara fi el Karri el Eshreen (The Pioneers of 
Architecture in the 20th Century,) Cairo. 1989, pp. 138-139. Abdel Gavvad drove a special 
attention to Mostafa Pacha Fahmy, Sayyid Kanm and Hassan Fathv. 

26 For a complete account on the formation of the new Egyptian generation architects 
and their scholastic missions to Europe, see Volait, ['architecture moderne en Egypte at la revue 
al-'imara (1^39-1959), Cedej: Cairo, 1988, pp. 19^t0. 

■-'Mamluk mode is that architectural style that flourished in Egypt under the rule of 
Bahn Mamluk (1250-1382). The key aspects of Mamluk mode of architecture are: the extensive 
use of stalactites in all architectural elements (portals, minaret's balconies, domes, column's 
capitals); the prevailing of pointed-arched portals; the domination of ribbed decorated domes. 
See Sakr, Early Twentieth-Century Islamic Architecture in Cairo, The American University in 
Cairo Press, 1992, pp. 4-5, see also Behrens Abouseif, Islamic Architecture in Cairo: An 
Introduction, Cairo, 1989, p.9. 



-15- 



this Mamluk revivalism mode is Mahmoud Riyad's Abbasiya Hospital, 
Cairo, 1939. 

The second group preferred an ancient Egyptian revival, otherwise known as 
the neo-Pharaonic style, to the Islamic one. This group found it to be a more 
prestigious style, particular to Egypt, as well as a more convincing style for 
both Muslims and Copts, thereby expressing a principal idea of the 1919 
Revolution. Moreover, the supporters of Pharaonicism believed that the 
Mamluks were foreign conquerors and not native Egyptians, the ancient 
Egyptian rulers, on the other hand, were indigenous leaders. Al-Asad shows 
that the former group "argued that, at best, the Mamluk revival could only 
represent the Muslims of Egypt, but that the Egyptian revival represented all 
Egyptians, Muslims, and Copts." 28 The Mausoleum of Sad Zaghlul, 1928, 
and the Pyramid Pavilion, Giza, 1946, built by Mustafa Fahmi, are examples of 
this trend. 29 




Figure (2): The Mausoleum of Sa'd Zaghlul, Cairo, 1928. (Volait, fig 9 p. 41) 

Despite being superficial veneer, the two latter styles are a deep expression of 
social change, a slow collective reappropriation that parallels a political 
movement of Egyptian renaissance. Volait's argument towards this 



28 Mohammad Al-Asad, The Mosque of AI-Rifai In Cairo, Muqarnas, vol. 10, Leiden- 
E.J. Brill, 1993, note 37, p. 124. 

29 Mustafa Pasha Fahmi (1886-1972) is an Egyptian architect graduated from the Ecole 
des Ponts et Chaussees in Paris. After his return to Egypt in 1912, he was appointed as the first 
Egyptian architect in the department of architecture and design in the Public Building*- 
Service, of which he became the director in 1926. See Abdel-Gawad, Tewfik. ' Amaliqa El 
Emmara fi el Karn el Eshreen, Cairo, 1989 p. 148, also Tarek Sakr, Early Twentieth-Century 
Mamie Architecture in Cairo, 1992, p. lh. 



-16- 



architectural movement is something that could be "an expression of a search 
for identity." 30 

The last group refused to admit any of the various revival styles as a suitable 
interpretation of the idea of nationalism. From their point of view, it was 
illogical to build in the twentieth century following the examples of the past. 
The architect Sayyid Karim stated that "the construction systems in Islamic 
architecture resulted primarily from the potentialities of the existing 
materials." He added that "if Arabs had built in steel and reinforced concrete, 
they would not have used arches or domes." 31 Sayyid Karim's design for an 
Islamic congress Hall in Cairo in 1957 is a perfect example for this trend. 





:=ss&ar 




■ 










- 



321 



i 




^r^^^^^ ^^VH, u-^i 



Figure (3): Islamic congress Hall, Cairo, 1957. Sayyid Karim, architect. ( Abdel-Gau ad, p. 310) 

1.3.2. European architects practicing in Egypt 

European architects, having graduated from European schools of architecture, 
executed their works in the prevalent styles and trends which they had 
studied. In addition to the revival styles, Eclecticism, Art \ouveau, 



3 "Mercedes Volait, and Robert Ilbert, Neo-arabic Renaissance in I <;ypt, IS7O-1930, 
Mimar. 13, 1984, p. 34. 

3 Sayyid Karim, al-Tabi' al-aawmi zeal-' tmara fi Misr, al-'lmara V-VI, 1940, p. 274, 
quoted from Sakr, p. 16. Sayyid Karim got his architectural diploma from Polytechnic faculty, 
Cairo University, 1^33, and B.Sc. and Ph.D. in architecture from Zurich University. He was 
the first Egyptian architect who got a Ph.D. in architecture. For a complete account on Sayyid 
Karim architectural career, seeTawfik Abdel-Gawad, pp. 161-227. 



-17- 



Expressionism, Cubism and International architecture, they also developed 
what may be called the neo-Islamic style by reintroducing traditional details 
and patterns as an external decoration on Western-designed buildings. For 
them the idea of revivalism included this exotic Islamic mode of architecture 
that existed in Egypt. The buildings of G. A. Loria in Alexandria were perfect 
examples for this manner. 



s^B* - 



m 




Figure (4): Apartment building, Alexandria. G. A. Loria, architect. 
(Avvad, Italian architecture) 

One group of European architects found in Egypt a perfect land in which to 
experiment new modes of architecture flourished at the turn of the 19th and 
20th century. Being attached to the revivalism architectural trend, some 
European architects took advantage of their commissions in Egypt to build 
according the International style initiated in early twentieth century, 32 before 



32 The term International Style was not used until the 1932 exhibition of the same name 
organized at the Museum of Modern Art in New York by Philip Johnson and Henry-Russell 
Hitchcock in which Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, J.J. Oud and Mies Van der Rohe were 
acknowledged as the leaders of a new style in architecture. See Henry-Russell Hitchcock, 
Architecture: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, The Pelican History of Art, 1989 edition, 
first published in 1958, p. 513. 



-18- 



doing so in their homeland. An example for that is the original design of the 
Italian School had been executed in Chatby, Alexandria, 1931-1934, designed 
byClemente Busiri-Vici (1887-1965), a member of a Roman architects family. 
Volait states that "Cette oeuvre marqua un tournant dans l'oeuvre meme de 
Burisi-Vici, qui s'etait montre jusque la plutot classique dans ses projets 
romains. Dune certaine maniere, ce fut l'occasion pour lui d'appliquer les 
principes formels du tout jeune mouvement italien d'architecture rationelle, 
qui venait d'etre fonde a Rome (1928)." 33 




Figure (5): Italian School in Chatby, Alexandria, 1931-1934, Clemente Busiri-Vici, architect. 

The building is now used as the agricultural department building, Alexandria University. 

(Photographed by the author, December, 1993) 

Apart from buildings, some Oriental writers, who dealt with the Egyptian 
cities, had a clear idea on the architectural styles that should be followed in 
Egypt at the turn of the century. Clerget, who wrote one of the most 
significant book on modern Egypt, emphasizes the harmonization with the 
'Arabic' style, the respect of the pharaonic architecture. However, he does not 
forget his French background considering Renaissance and Louis XVI 



■"Mercedes Volait, La Communautc Italienne et ses Ediles, in La Revue de L'Occidcnt 
Musulmanetdela Mediterrancc; Alexandra- entre deux mondes, no: 46, fourth trimester, 1987, 
pp. 148. 



-19- 



architecture among the acceptable building modes. For him, then, the most 
significant examples of buildings erected at that time, 1934, were those who 
showed: 

alliance charmante du style moderne et du style arabe, avec bassin, 
fontaines, cours, balustrades ajourees, panneaux de bois; usage de la 
brique rouge apparente dans un style Tudor; revetements divers de 
belle brique; enduits rustiques, soubassements en pierre artificielle, 
imitant la belle pierre de taille; emprunts moderes et judicieux a 
l'architecture pharaonique; immeuble locatifs en style moderne sobre, 
sans ornement tapageur de platre ou de pierre; frises discretes en 
mosai'ques, courant a l'etage superieur: style Renaissance ou Louis XVI, 
sans recherche pompeuse. 34 

1.4. The first pioneers 

One who investigates the work of the European architects in Egypt at the turn 
of the century should take a special look to the intervention of the so called 
the 'first generation of modern architecture', as Hitchcock identifies them. 35 
Among those architects who built or proposed a design in Egypt are: Adolf 
Loos, Frank Lloyd Wright, Eliel Saarinen and August Perret. The first three 
pioneers' interventions will be discussed in this section. The following 
chapter will be entirely devoted to Auguste Perret's contribution. 

1.4.1. Adolf Loos' Classical approach, 1910 

Loos proposed a design for a Department Store (Stein), in Alexandria, 1910. 
He must have liked this design, which is a water color executed by one of his 
pupils, R. Wels, that he hung it in his Vienna apartment until he died. 36 
Gravagnuolo describes the design as a "substitution of the neo-gothic stylistic 
features of the new cathedrals of consumption by a classicist bricolage in 
which Hellenistic reminiscence are mixed up with allusions to Pharaonic 



34 Clerget, Le Cairo, vol. I, Cairo, 1934, p. 345. 

35 Hitchcock makes a clear distinction between the different generations of modern- 
architecture's leaders; "one group, born in the late 1860s, constituted the first generation, a 
group born some twenty years later formed a second generation," and 1930s generation that since 
Hitchcock's book has come to maturity. Henry-Russell Hitchcock, Architectue: Nineteenth 
and Twentieth Centuries, The Pelican History of Art, 1989 edition, p. 419. 

36 The original drawing is kept today in the Adolf Loos room of the Historical Musuem 
of Vienna. A colored publication of the perspective design is published in Benedetto 
Gravagnuolo's Adolf Lexis, 1982, p. 142. 

-20- 



architecture." 37 Miinz and Kunstler, however, emphasize its modernity in its 
rational tectonics. 38 

The design follows Clerget's description, though earlier, of the most 
significant modern architecture of Egypt. It shows some aspects from the 
'Arabic' style shown in the distinctive horizontal stone joints that coincide 
with horizontal details of the building to the right of the perspective. The 
stepped back aspect of the upper floors, and the monumental scale of the four 
intermediate ones recall pharaonic architecture. However, Loos expresses his 
European background by introducing Ionic orders that match with the 
revivalism movement in Europe. In general, Loos' combination of motives 
creates an alien architecture that does not fit with the environment shown in 
the perspective. 




Figure (6): Perspective of a Department Store (Stein), Alexandria, 1910. Adolf Loos, architect, 
after a water color by R. Wels. (Miinz and Kunstler, p. 129) 



p.142. 



37 Benedetto Gravagnuolo, Adolf Loos; Theory and Works, Rizolli: New York, 1982, 



38 See Ludwig Mun/ and Gustav Kunstler, Adolf Loos; Pioneer of modern Architecture, 
Frederick A. Praeger: New York, 1%6, pp. 129-130. 



-21- 



1.4.2. Eliel Saarinen: a design of Cairo hospital, 1921 

Saarinen proposes, for a competition in 1921, a design for the Cairo Hospital- 
Qasr El Aini Hospital and Medical School, 39 whose analytical approach, 
according to Hausen, "yielded a small town instead of a hospital." 40 
Saarinens understanding of the climatic condition in Egypt guided him to 
follow an interconnected system of colonnaded courtyards within a massive 
solid exterior. Saarinens proposal could be briefly described as a group of two 
and three (partly seven-story) limestone and /or brick buildings, situated on a 
19.5 hectare area. The central axis formed of pilasters and water pools gathers 
all the activities of the hospital by its interconnection with a secondary court- 
spaces. 





. ; 



1353JP3 



ft-abS 9 



■"* c N=^ 

u 3 
nana / 



VV 



Figure (7): Cairo hospital, competition entry. Eliel Saarinen, 1921. (Hausen, p. 212 and 334) 

Hausen s interpretation about this design is that "this big hospital complex 
was a forerunner of the structuralism aspirations of the 1960s, e.g. the 
Hospital for Venice by le Corbusier, and the Freie Universitat Berlin by 
Candilis-Josic-Woods." Hausen also points that the design is "representative 



39 The Egyptian government held an architectural competition in October, l u 21, to 
design Qasr El Aini Hospital and Medical School, ROda island, Cairo. The Consultant and 
sole judge was John VV. Simpson, chairman of the Royal Institute of British Architects. Of the 
entries received in the initial competition, six were selected for the second stage. Saarinens 
proposal was not among these. 

40 M. Hausen, K. Mikkola, A. Amberg and T. Valto, Eliel Saarinen; Projects lSUh-lQ23, 
MIT press: Cambridge, MA, 1990, p.212. 



-22- 



of the Olmested tradition of American campus design e.g. Stanford 
University, Palo Alto in California, and Washington University, St. Louis, 
Mo." 41 

Apart from Hausen's structural and urban analysis of the design, the design 
for the Cairo Hospital showed Saarinen's kinship with Egyptian vernacular 
architecture, though the Pharaonic-temple scheme was over stated. 

1.4.3. Wright's disassembled structure, 1927 

Frank Lloyd Wright designed in 1927 prefabricated beach Cottages in Ras-el- 
Bar, Dumyat. These structures were meant to be disassembled each year and 
stored during the spring flood season. The wooden box-board cabins roofed 
in canvas which were anchored to poured concrete slabs, when in use, recall 
the charming desert camp 'Ocotilla' that Wright built in 1929 as a working 
camp to make the working drawings of the San Maros-in-the-Desert resort 
hotel. In spite of the great amount of research on Wright's buildings, these 
structures were mentioned in only a few of them; William Storrer's, Bruno 
Zevis' and Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer's. 42 The latter, however, published Wright's 
drawings of the design. Pleiffer states that these structures collapsed when the 
first season was over. 43 

Wright's technical adaptation of his cabins to the specific features of Ras-el- 
Bar, emphasizes his organic architecture that mainly relates the building to its 
site. However, he did not take into account, by opening his cabins into a 
central space, the required privacy of each structure that should satisfy the 
Egyptian social-life quality. 



41Ibid., p.212. 

42 Mentioned (without illustrations) in entry number 223 in William Allin Storrer, The 
Architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright; a Complete Catalog, The MIT Press, Cambridge: MA, 
1974 in Wright's building list published in Bruno Zevis, Frank Lloyd Wright, 1980, Verlagfiir 
Architektur Artemis Zurich, Les Editions d'Architecture, p. 277; and in Brooks Pfeiffer's Frank 
Lloyd wright Monograph 1924-1036, vol. 5 (edited and photographed by Yukio Futagawa), 
A.D.A Edita Tokyo, 1985, p.46. 

43 Brooks Pfeiffer Frank LLoyd wright Monograph p .46. The author also point that the 
correspondence between Mr. Wright and the authorities in Egypt exists in the Taliesin 
archives. 



-23- 



&* f&* 



■ 







Figure (8): Ras-el-Bar, Vacation Cabins by the Sea, Dumyat, Egypt, 1927, Frank Lloyd Wright, 
architect. General Layout and perspective. (Pfeiffer, vol. 5 p. 46) 

Apart from this cottages, Wright's theories were very admired by the Egyptian 
architects. Volait mentions that Frank Lloyd Wright's name was one of the 
most repeated in the 'Imara', an Egyptian architectural review 1939-62. She 
also mentions that he was the only foreign architect who received so well 
recognition in Egypt that special official festivals were organized to celebrate 
his visit to Cairo in May, 1957. 44 



**Volait, L Architecture Moderne en Egypte et le Revue El Emara 1939^9, CEDEJ. 
Cairo 1989, p. 65. 



-24- 



Part II 



Analysis of Auguste Perret buildings in Alexandria 



-25- 



2. Analysis of A. Perret's buildings in Alexandria: Introduction 

Since its introduction in Egypt, 1863, reinforced concrete seems to have gotten 
little appreciation in the building industry. It was always considered as a 
constructional 'ugly' material that should be veneered with a more noble one. 
It was not before Auguste Perret, in 1926, that the first unfinished reinforced 
concrete building was erected in Egypt. This chapter will investigate Perret's 
theory and practice in general. A special focus will be devoted to analyzing 
his point of view of what a reinforced concrete building in Egypt should look 
like. 

After the expansion of the local cement and steel production in the 1940s and 
50s, reinforced concrete quickly took over the building industry. It was, and 
still is, the most inexpensive building material. However, no serious 
attempts followed Perret's examples of exposed concrete in buildings, except 
later in the 70s and 80s demonstrated by the work of Hassan Izat abou-Gad 
in Alexandria; the University of Alexandria conference Hall, the Research 
Institute, and the Institute of the Naval Academic research. 

3. Auguste Perret 



3.1. Perret's life 



The father, Claude Marie Perret was a Burgundian stone mason. He left his 
province and settled in Paris, where he was accused of having participated in 
setting fire to the Tuilleries. Later he fled to Belgium to escape the Versailles 
repression. In Brussels his three sons were born after two daughters: 
Auguste, on February 1874, Gustave in March 1876 and Claude in July 1880. 
The family was flourishing, but when the amnesty of the Commune rebels 
was voted on July 11 1880, the father decided to give up everything and return 
to Paris where he founded a general building firm. Abram points to the 
different location of this firm by time; it first became "the 'Entreprise Perret et 
Fils' (1896, 43 rue Rocher, Paris 8), then the 'Entreprise Perret-Architectes- 
Constructeurs-Beton Arme', situated initially at 25a de la rue Franklin, Paris 
16 and then from 1930 at 55 rue Raynouard, Paris 16." 1 



1 Joseph Abram, An Unusual Organization of Production: the building firm of the Perret 
Brothers, 1897-1954, Construction History, vol. 3, 1987, p. 79. 

-26- 



Auguste and Gustave spent their childhood in their father's building sites 
where they became familiar with the process of construction. At this early 
stage of his life, it seems that Auguste demonstrated genius practices in the 
field of construction. Abram points to his invention of a system of metal ties 
to hold the structure of the Tour the Temple, 1889. 2 The father, then, sent 
them to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts where they both joined Guadet's atelier. 3 
The Perret brothers were then drawn to both Guadet's doctrine (Elements et 
Theorie de l'Architecture, Paris, 1901), and their mother's own copy of 
Viollet-le-Duc's Dictionnaire Raisonne (1854-68). 

In spite of their remarkable scholarly achievements, the two brothers left the 
Ecole without getting their diploma due to their obligation to work with their 
father, and Auguste's military service. 4 Auguste and his brothers worked for 
their father's firm until the later died in 1905. Then, Auguste practiced 
architectural design and construction in collaboration with his brothers under 
the name of Perret Freres, until Auguste death on February 25th, 1954. From 
a practical point of view Perret had an extensive building list that he either 
constructed, designed, or both. A building and project list of the architect is 
included as appendix 1 in this study. 5 

3.2. Ideas that influenced Perret's architecture 

"Ce qui paraitra bientot le plus vieux, c'est ce qui d'abord aura paru Ie 
plus moderne." 6 



2 TheTourdu Temple is a temporary structure of light materials that his father had to 
build for the Universal Exhibition. Ibid. p. 79, and note 28 p. 92. 

3 Auguste entered the Beaux Arts in July 1891 (he was 17 years old). Gustave followed 
him two years later. For the influence of the Beaux arts ideas, especially Guadet's, on the two 
brothers' development see Ibid. pp. 79-80. 

4 J. Mathews also points to an interesting reason why Auguste did not get his diploma is 
that "probably because had he become a qualified architect he would not have been allowed to 
be a contractor at the same time." J. Mathews, Rational Concrete Architecture; Auguste 
Perret's Ideological Background and its Expression in his Formative Buildings, a thesis 
presented to the Cambridge Faculty of Architecture & History of Art, May 1972, p. 9. 

5 Apart of 9 undated projects that were attributed to Perret, I count 274 projects that 
Auguste Perret was involved in between the 1889 and 1954. Of these project, 157 project were 
constructed (22 of these were not design by Perret), and 117 projects were kept in the state of 
design. For a complete list of Perret's work see appendix 1. 

6 Extracted from Les Faux Monnayeurs, quoted from Marcel Zahar, Auguste Perret, Paris: 
Editions Vincent, Freal et C ie , 1956, pp. 8. 

-27- 



Perret's discovery of new aesthetic values in the architectural use of concrete 
has of course its background that affected him elaborating his ideas. In order 
to consider the background of Auguste Perret's architectural theory and 
practice it will be necessary to look briefly to the following subheadings: 

3.2.1. Viollet-le-Duc 

Les Monuments perissent, mais ce qui ne doit perrir, c'est l'esprit qui a 
fait elever ces monuments, car cet esprit c'est le notre. C'est lame du 
pays. 

Viollet-le-Duc 

Auguste was familiar with Viollet-le-Duc's Dictionnaire Raisonne (1854-68) 
because he read his mother's own copy. Perret in an interview says that 
"Viollet-le-Duc was my real master." 7 Viollet in his book affirms that the 
civilizations which had made the greatest impression on history were those 
in which traditions were the most reflected theme. Le-Duc's attempt was not 
to imitate the past, instead he was trying to extract principles from the 
tradition modes so that they could be used according to the modern view. For 
him, art in order to exist must recognize the environment in which it is 
developing. 

Although Perret gained little information from Viollet-le-Duc regarding the 
use of concrete, 8 he was influenced with "his ideas of structural integrity, his 
insistence that architecture could only achieve authentic new forms if these 
were derived from the undisguised application of new structural system, and 
his unhesitating condemnation of those who clothed new structural 
materials in stucco of brick." 9 



7 Perret added that "it was he who enable me to resist the influence of the Ecole des 
Beaux-Arts". A. Perret, Architecture d'Au)ourdh'hui, October, 1932, pp. 14. 

8 The Dictionnaire raisonne do ['architecture francaisc du Xle au XVle siecle, (1854-75) 
contained a short discussion on the concrete construction of the Roman Pantheon, and an article 
on beton which deals superficially with the technique. 

'Peter Collins, Concrete: The Vision of a new Architecture, a study of Augugtg Perret 
and his Precursors, 1959. p. 158. 

-28- 



3.2.2. Theories of Julian Guadet 

Julian Guadet was a pupil of Henri Labrouste (1801-1875), 10 and acted as the 
general inspector of the French civil buildings. He taught architectural studio 
to Auguste Perret and his brother during their studies in the Ecole des Beaux- 
Arts. Being a colleague and friend with his son, Perret had a good 
relationship with his professor. Guadet stuck to the Beaux-Arts concept of 
classical design, nevertheless his awareness of classical scale, proportion, and 
beauty, and his method of analyzing architectural elements had a great 
influence on Perret's work. For Guadet, buildings had to be rational and 
functional. The professor says, in his Element et Theorie d' Architecture, that 
the term 'classical' did not mean to be exclusive or to be biased in favor of a 
particular pre-conception. Guadet also emphasizes the idea that architecture 
should be constructable, and that "the final building should not express 
anything other than the structure." 11 

Guadet's ideas of true structural expression, harmony, proportion, beauty 
were followed by Auguste Perret in his designs, though away from the Beaux 
Arts academic style. To what extend the pupil learned from his professor in 
term of reinforced concrete is not clear in the literature. However, it should 
be mentioned that Auguste, in the beginning of his career, 1908-10, 
constructed three reinforced concrete buildings designed by J. Guadet: Hotel 
Particulier avenue Elisees-Reclus, 1908; the Voyages et Travaux d'entreprise, 
French Legation, 1908-10; and Hotel Particulier Guadet, 1912-13. 12 The 
association of Auguste and his professor in the construction of these 
buildings had of course elaborated, from a practical viewpoint, Perret's 
understanding of the reinforced concrete. 



1 "Henri Labrouste is considered the most influential Classical Rationalist of the 
nineteenth century. He gained his academic reputation by measuring the Greek temples at 
Paestum. It was his analysis of the structural components which was to constitute a 
revolutionary effect on contemporary thought. See Neil Arthur Levine, Architectural 
reasoning in the age of positivism: the neo-Grec idea of Henri Labrouste's Bibliotheque Samte- 
Genevieve. 1975, also see David Van Zanten, Designing Pans: the architecture of Duban. 
Labrouste. Due, and Vaudoyer. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1987. 

"Guadet also says "Larchitecture a pour but les constructions, elle a pour moyen la 
construction" Guadet, Element et Theorie d'Architecture, vol. 1, p. 194. 

12 See entries No. 24, 26 and 33, appendix I. 

-29- 



It should also be mentioned that through Guadets studio Perret was 
introduced to Choisy, whose theories influenced the formation of his 
architectural rationale. Perret, in a discussion with Pierre Vago said "Si 
seulement tous les architectes avaient lu Viollet-le-Duc et le Choisy!" 13 

3.2.3. Architecture of Antiquities 

The teaching at the Beaux-Arts, at the turn of century, fell under the pastiche 
of classical models, using Vitruvius and Alberti as its dubious theoretical 
basis, irrespective of modern life styles and technology. Much of the work 
produced by other architects in Perret's period of time was nothing more than 
the adoption of irrelevant Italianate ornaments introduced into French 
buildings in the early Renaissance. Perret, though opposing this trend, did 
not ignore the architectural values that could be adapted from the antiquity 
modes so that they could be used according to the modern view. For him the 
true architecture was found in Greek and Egyptian buildings, because both 
were developed from their environment. 

Greek Architecture 

A locomotive has character, the Parthenon has both character and style. 

A. Perret 

Auguste believed that the orders of Greek architecture were the structure 
itself, so that the structure and their appearance were the same. Take away 
the order and you destroy the monument. 

In addition to structural values which Greek architecture introduced to A. 
Perret, the optical refinement proportion practiced in Greek architecture 
captivated Auguste. He provided a slight upward curvature to his beams in 
order to correct their optical alignments. Other such examples are: the 
slightly outwards curvature of the whole facade of the Research Laboratories, 
and Perret's landscape design for Gustave Aghion villa in Alexandria, 1926. 14 



13 Pierre Vago, Perret une Etude de Pierre Vago sur L'CEuvre complete d'A. G. Perret, 
[■.' Architecture- D'Au)ourd'hui (special issue on A. Perret), October 1932, p. 15. 

14 See detailed analysis of the villa and its landscape design in the following section of 
the study. 

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E gyptian Influence 

Most of the literature explaining how Perret's background influenced his 
architectural practice is based on the previous explained subheadings. 
However, it should be added, if not highlighted, the influence of Auguste's 
trip to Egypt. Consequently, this point will be more emphasized, especially 
that we will focus on Perret's designs in Egypt in the following section of the 
research. 

No artist who got the chance to see what the Egyptians built 4000 years ago, 
ignores its effect in his way of thinking, and, thus, his work. August Perret's 
undated trip to Egypt certainly had an influence on his architectural and 
constructional theory. 15 Zahar recites a hypothesis that relates his reinforced 
concrete columns to an observation that Perret made from his hotel's 
window in Cairo. He claimed that the origin of Perret's columns were a 
grove of palm trees, that had elegant trunks, thin at the base and large at the 
summit. 16 Affirming the inspiration that Auguste got from his visit to Egypt, 
Bernard Champigneulle refers to Perret who says: 

Nous avons hesite bien longtemps avant d'oser cette forme et c'est, en 
Egypte, l'aspect dun groupe de palmiers dont les troncs lisses et nus 
s'elancaient du sol jusqu'a leurs palmes, a plus de vingt metres de 
hauteur en grossissant toujours, qui nous a decides. Pour passer de la 
forme cylindrique de la colonne a la forme rectangulaire da la poutre, 
nous avons interpose un tronc de pyramide a base caree avec courbe de 
raccordement au cylindre-ce nest pas un chapiteau, c'est un lien, mais 
ce lien termine la colonne et fait d'elle, avec son gable et sa base, un 
individu, une personne qu'on ne peut sans mutilation allonger au 
raccourcir. 17 



15 From the following examples that show Perret's inspirations from Egyptian 
architecture, I assume that Perret's visits to Egypt started around the year 1922. 

16 "Au Caire, de la fenetre de son hotel, il apercevait un bosquet de palmiers. II 
admirait lelegance des troncs d'arbres fins a leur base, larges au sommet, et il songeait en meme 
temps a la possibility de transmettre cette forme a une colonne. Ainsi naquit lidee de la 
'colonne Perret' qui prit corps avec la colonnade du Musee des traveaux Publics." Marcel Zahar, 
Auguste Perret, p. 9. 

1 7 A. Perret, La Renaissance. January 1939, quoted from Bernard Champigneulle, Perret, 
Paris: Arts et Metiers Graphiques, 1959, pp. 79-80. 

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t capitals. 
Itfl lutifofTn baM 




Figure (9): Egyptian lotiform column. Interior of Notre Dame do Raincy (Jamot, pi. XXIV) 

The Egyptian influence on Auguste manifested in a lot of his buildings, 
columns details, as well as in shaping some of the bell towers that he 
designed. In Notre-Dame du Raincy (entry 63), 1922-1923, Auguste Perret 
adapted the Egyptian lotiform column, inspired from lotus buds bandage, to 
shape the interior columns of the central tower of the church. A. Perret, 
instead of using one column, used four quadruple fluted columns, having 
the multilevel floors acting as a "strings." 18 The architect's utmost depiction 
of his fascination with the Egyptian architecture is in his project for the Salon 
de Tuileries (entry 113), 1928. Perret, here, inspired with the monumentalitv 
of ancient Egyptian architecture, proposed an Egyptian temple-like entrance 
gate. Moreover, he repeated the pyramidal shapes throughout his design as a 
means of skylights. 



l8 Paul Jamot indicates that this solution is not only an esthetic refinement, but also wa- 
econorruc, since the dimensions of these columns are the same of the other columns used in the 
church. This allowed a unification in the concrete form-work. See Paul Jamot, A. -G. Perret et 
L architecture du Beton Arme, Paris: Libraine Nationale d'Art et d'Histoire, 1927. p. 53. 



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Perret, also referred to the shape of the Egyptian obelisks to shape his towers. 
He ended the tower of Sainte-Therese at Montmagny (entry 90), 1925, with a 
very distinct pyramidal shape that he never used before. Moreover, the most 
distinct Egyptian influence on Perret's design is seen in the columns used in 
the Musee des Travaux Publics (entry 197), 1937, and the external colonnade 
of the Hotel de Ville at the Havre, Paris (entry 267), 1952. Here, Auguste 
provides an abstraction of the ancient Egyptians lotiform capital to his 
columns, at the exterior of both the Museum and the hotel. 

3.3. Perret's theory and practice 

Architecture is the art of organizing space and it expresses itself 
through construction. 

A. Perret 

Auguste Perret's idea was to create an honest architecture which allowed 
every material used to express itself. However, he did not mean, by his 
construction concerns, to create an ugly building. Instead, his intention was 
to play with these materials, as musicians do with musical notes, in order to 
produce a 'singing facade'. 19 Consequently, to investigate Perret's 

architectural theory, it will be necessary to look at his building practice from 
both its construction techniques and its elemental components. This will be 
conducted through the following subheadings: 

3.3.1. Reinforced Concrete 

Reinforced concrete had been developed and sporadically applied for some 
time before Perret's arrival on the scene. 20 Reservoirs, acquaducts, airplane 
hangers, and bridges were common uses in which the material was 



19 A. Perret states that if "vous voulez utiliser le fer, soit, mais montrez le materiau 
apparent. Faites toujours de l'architecture avec la verite du materiau." He also said that "il 
taut faire chanter la facade!" Quoted from Marcel Zahar, Auguste Perret, p. 19. 

20 The discovery of the reinforced concrete goes back, as Raafat states, to an article 
written by Loudon in 1833. The interventions of Wilkinson, 1854, and Monier, 1867 elaborated 
Loudon's idea of a fire resistant material. Raafat also explains the role of the French engineer 
Francois Hennebique to affirm the use of the reinforced concrete in construction, 1879, and to 
invent the framed construction system, 1892. For a complete account on the history of the 
concrete invention and the reinforced concrete early technology, see Ahmed Raafat, Fan Al 
Imara \va Al Kharassana El Mosalaha. authorized translation of Reinforced Concrete in 
Architecture. New York: Reinhold Publishing Corporation, 1958. 

-33- 



employed. No one was yet convinced that reinforced concrete could have any 
architectural use or could be willingly shown. 

Peter Collins identifies five general methods of using reinforced concrete 
structurally, by 1905: Conventional, which means that the concrete was used 
without any attention to the novelty of the system although its characteristics 
differed from those of bricks or stone; Futuristic, which made the excessive 
display of concrete, especially as this display produced forms never seen on 
earth; Skeletal, which was used to show the nature of the new material by 
using and emphasizing the reinforced concrete frame; Plastic, which was a 
mode that yielded completely to Art Nouveau doctrines; Veneered, which 
was to face the structure with another material, to ensure against a poor 
concrete finish or to guarantee against any reinforcement decay. 21 

The modern architects of the first generation, identified by Hitchcock, were 
attempting to reach a new mode of architecture that depended on the beauty 
of the construction materials (whether steel or reinforced concrete.) Among 
these architects were: Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright in the United 
States; Mckintosh in England; Otto Wagner and Adolf Loos in Austria; H. P. 
Berlage in Holland; Peter Behrens in Germany; Tony Gamier and Auguste 
Perret in France. 22 

Particularly, Auguste Perret was looking for a beautiful 'skeletal' use of the 
reinforced concrete applying new modes of technology. In his Contribution a 
line theorie de 'architecture, he summarizes the evolution of building 
materials, and emphasizes that the reinforced concrete is the authentic mode 
of the architecture of the twentieth century. 

A l'orogine, il nest d'architecture que de charpente en bois. Pour 
eviter le feu, on construit en dur. Et le prestige de charpente en bois 
qu'on produit tout les traits jusqu'aux tetes de chevilles. A partir de ce 
moment, l'architecture dite classique nest plus qu'un decor. . . Enfin 
voici la charpente d'acier. Puis nee en France, la charpente en beton de 



21 Collins, Peter. Concrete: The Vision of a new Architecture, a study of Aupuste Perret 
and his Precursors . New York: Hori/on Press, 1959, pp. 179-181. 

22 See Hitchcock, Henry-Russell. Architecture: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. 
The Pelican History of Art, 1989 edition, first published in 1958, pp. 419-486. 

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ciment arme, prete a couvrir le monde dune authentique 
architecture. 23 

He saw concrete as dependent on the straight lines imposed by wooden form 
work, and it was the interplay of horizontals and verticals that brought 
reinforced concrete close to classical forms. For that reason he received some 
criticism in saying that "he left concrete structure no more advanced then he 
found it and some, more recent, criticism has even suggested that he retarded 
its development." 24 

A. Perret saw architecture as a vocabulary, its words are the construction 
elements (columns, beams, and infill). He was always trying to determine the 
appropriate shape of each element separately in accordance with its functional 
needs, to introduce refinements and harmony into each part, and eventually 
to the whole composition. 

3.3.2. Columns 

Columns were an essential part of Perret's new vocabulary, because of their 
structural integrity and dignity, as well as the powerful rhythm that columns 
can provide by their ranks. Consequently, whenever convenient, Perret 
isolated them in space, and provided with their rhythm the dominant 
element of his design. 

Perret tapered his columns from top to bottom. Perret designed his columns 
so that instead of diminishing regularly, the diminution varied to produce 
the curvature desired by him. Columns, Perret said, "are like timber 
structure, such as tables and chairs just as table legs, deriving their stability 
from the rigidity of the upper joint, were traditionally considered more 
elegant when tapered towards the bottom, so concrete columns might 
logically be shaped in a similar way." 25 



23 A. Perret, Contribution a une theorie de I'architecture, 1952. 

24 Reyner Banham, Theory and Design in the First Machine Age, Cambridge, 
Massachusetts: the MIT Press, 1960, p. 38. Banham then states that on the other hand Perret 
"left concrete an aesthetically acceptable material which is what it certainly was not before 
him, in spite of the efforts of Hennebique." 

25 A. Perret, quoted from Peter Collins, Concrete: The Vision of a new Architecture, pp. 
205-206. 



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To give greater elegance and to take care of any inaccuracy in casting, the 
columns were fluted. The cement film was removed by bush-hammering the 
center of each face, leaving the arises untouched. This produced slight 
concavities by a feasible and cheaper technique than to use circular strips of 
planking in the form work. However, by hammering the concrete, the 
surface could exhibit microcracks which promotes for water entrapment and, 
consequently material deterioration. 




^W 



V 

Figure (10): Augugte Perret's columns: fluting technique, capital and shaft, (by the author) 




At the top of his columns, Perret experimented with some changes in order to 
achieve a smooth transfer between the round columns and the rectangular 
beams above. In his earlier work he did nothing and let the beams laid 
directlv on the column or put a narrow decorative band. Then, he realized 
that he should seek logical transition from his circular columns to the square 
shape of beams' intersection. Perret's first attempt to achieve satisfactory 
transition in the Musee des Travaux Publics, 1937 (entry 197). At le Hotel de 
Ville, le Havre, 1952, he finally achieved a suitable solution. The transition 
was achieved by a series of prismatic modulations developed progressively 
from the phases of the polygonal shaft (entry 297). It should be noted that 
whenever Perret provided a capital to his column, the number of the flutes of 
the shaft were always dividable per 4 to coincide with the four sides of the 
capital. 



-36- 



There is no literature, as far as I reviewed, which explains Perret's 
reinforcements of his columns. However, Mathews points that the system of 
reinforcement was such that there was much more reinforcement at the top 
than there was at the bottom. 26 Following rationally the load-distribution 
line-dispersed loads at the beams level and concentrated load point at the 
bottom of the column-was probably Perret's subjective idea. 

3.3.3. Beams 

Although, it might seem structurally most efficient to vary the sections of 
beams whenever the spans or loads differ, it was logical to Perret to maintain 
a constant section because their function was approximately the same. Perret 
terminated his columns at the bottom of the beams, and he never let them 
penetrate the face of the columns, even if this involved using more concrete 
than necessary. Perret wanted to clearly express that it is the beams that carry 
the slabs and not the columns. He did this by honestly depicting that the 
columns are cast separately from the beams with the reinforcement sticking 
out, and casting the beams directly across the columns. He achieved, thus, a 
horizontal continuity and a visual distinction between the elements of his 
vocabulary. 

Perret never used cantilever beams, he always employed the more simple and 
logical solution. He also did not agree with the installation of any technical 
system between beams and never covered them with a false ceiling. Again, 
no literature found describes Perret's reinforcement or calculation of the 
beams' reinforced bars. 



26 



Jonathan Mathews, Rational Concrete Architecture, May 1972, p. 15. 

-37- 





^Z&gl 



Figure (11): Possible relations between columns and beams, (by the author) 

For both his columns and beams, Perret studied the surface treatment of their 
concrete. Collins, briefly states that he anxiously experimented "different 
aggregates and different types of bush-hammering." 27 This shows that Perret 
was concerned, with the smallest details, to provide beauty to his new 
material. Moreover, he chose aggregates which are different in color, texture 
and size, to give an infinite number of subtle gradations in tone, luminosity 
and scale. 

3.3.4. Infill 

Perret saw that the only way of expressing a non load bearing membrane was 
to fill the entire space between the structural supports with either a: blank 
wall, as in the Theatre de l'Exposition des Arts Decoratifs, 1924 (entry 77) and 
Alfred Cortot concert Hall, 1928 (entry 129); glass, as in the Musee de Travaux 
Publics, 1937 (entry 197); or decorative brick pattern, as in most of all his Hotel 
Particuliers. In the last possibility, Perret made brick, which was often 
plastered at this time, a beautiful material to look at. 

Perret also used pre-cast concrete blocks as an infill. His first use of these 
blocks, as far as I know, was in the construction of Oran Cathedral, Algeria, 
1902-08, designed by Albert Ballu (entry 11). However, it was not until the 
year 1922 that Perret started to incorporate these pre-cast blocks in his designs 



27 Peter Collins, Ihe Doctrine of Augusts Ferret, Architectural Review, vol. 114, Aug. 
1953, p. 97. 



-38- 



as decorative or climatic control elements in Notre Dame church at Raincy, 
1922 (entry 63), and the residential complex, Grand-Quevilly, 1922 (entry 62). 
He, then, used the same blocks, though carrying a pyramidal design, in 
Gustave Aghion Hotel Particulier, 1926 (entry 97). Perret seems to have liked 
this design as he repeated it in all his Egyptian buildings designs (entry 159, 
172 and 212). He also used it in the Musee des Travaux Publics, 1937 (entry 
197). 




Figure (12): Detail of the pyramidal shape pre-cast units. 
(Ferret, Techniques & Architecture, No. 1-2, October 1949, p. 87) 

Perret also used blank pre-cast units as in the case of 51 Rue Raynouard, 1929 
(entry 127). In both cases the blocks could be made to any dimensions 
required by the design. Their thinness would allow large castings to be 
handled with ease. Reinforcement wires could be imbedded within grooved 
joints and secured to the structural frames. 

In Residential windows, whose frames were always pre-cast, Perret used the 
traditional vertical French window or porte-fenetre which took the full 
height of the room to give more satisfactory gradation of light. 28 Perret, in 
order to differentiate between his infill elements, projected the window and 
door frames from the wall. Collins points that the projection of the window 
helped to house folding metal shutters within the external reveals. 29 

3.4. Steps towards modern mode of rational classicism 

This section will not be a review of Auguste Perret's design approach 
throughout his extensive building list. This is already studied and fairly well 



28 For the controversy between Perret's vertical French window and Le CorbuMer 
horizontal strip window, see Bruno Reichlin, Une petite maison on Lake Leman (Perret-Le 
Corbusier controversy). Lotus International No. 60, 1988, pp. 59-83. 

29 Collins, Concrete: The Vision of a new Architecture, 1959, p. 218. 



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covered. 30 Instead, it will be a summary of Perret's major buildings that 
could be considered as a turning point either in the technical use of the 
reinforced concrete, or the development of a rational classicism output from 
the new invented material. 

The first building in which Auguste first introduced reinforced concrete was 
the Casino de Saint-Malo (entry 7), 1898-99, where the new material was used 
in a 18 meters beam. 25 bis rue Franklin at Paris (entry 12), 1902-03, was his 
first apartment building constructed out of reinforced concrete. His garage 
Ponthieu (entry 22), 1907-08 was his first attempt to reveal the reinforced 
concrete structural grid of the facade. The first attempt to introduce the 
reinforced concrete in a monumental building was in Perret's Theatre des 
Champs-Elysees (entry 31), 1911-13. 

In Notre Dame de Raincy (entry 63), 1922-23, Perret arrived at the most pure 
formulation of the reinforced concrete. The church was important not only 
for its elegant proportions and refinements but also for both its formulation 
of the cylindrical column articulated within a non-load-bearing envelope and 
its standard pre-cast concrete blocks. 

Although demolished a few months after its completion, the Theatre de 
l'Exposition des Arts Decoratifs (entry 77), 1924-25, expressed Perret's total 
understanding of the structural properties of the reinforced concrete. 
However, some critics consider the theater an awkward expression since the 
columns that articulated the blank exterior reflected Perret's preoccupation 
with the creation of a new mode of classicism. 

Perret in the Musee des Travaux Publics (entry 197), 1937, experienced for the 
first time two important features that affirmed his appreciation and concern 
with the reinforced concrete: the top-to-bottom tapered columns, and the 



30 Books that present a good review on the work of Perret could be chronologically 
classified in three main groups: First, the early period books that were written in late 
twentieth (in the middle of Perret lifecourse), for example: Paul Jamot, A.-G. Perret et 
L'Architecture du Beton Arme, 1927; Second, the middle period books that were written right 
after Perret's death, for example Ernesto Rogers, Auguste Perret, 1955, Bernard Champigneulle, 
Perret, 1959, Peter Collins, Concrete: The Vision of a new Architecture, a study of Auguste Perret 
and his Precursor, 1959; Third, the most recent books, Giovani Fanelli & Roberto Gargiani, 
Auguste Perret, 1991. 

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glass panels infill. However, in this museum he never reached a satisfactory 
solution for the geometry of his columns' capitals. That did not happened 
before his columns' articulation in the Hotel de Ville at Le Havre (entry 267), 
1952. This shows that Perret, at the end of his career, was not only concerned 
with the general beauty of his concrete structures, but he was also involved in 
the perfection of the details. 

3.5. Projects beyond France 

Perret has an extensive building list outside of France. He designed and built 
buildings in Algeria, Morocco, and Egypt. He also constructed buildings that 
were not designed by him in Algeria, Morocco, Turkey, England. Moreover, 
he proposed several projects in Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, Turkey, 
Soviet Union and Italy that were never executed. 

As he was his own contractor and he personally supervised the training of all 
those who worked for him, Perret would have a team-work of workmen in 
the countries where he built (Algeria, Morocco, Egypt). Fanelli informs us, in 
his Perret's building list, that Perret had an office in Boulevard Circulaire, 
Casablanca, 1921 (entry 57). Although this information explains how Auguste 
managed to build in Morocco, it proposes an unresolved question: How did 
the architect execute his designs in both Algeria and Egypt? And if he did not 
have such a team there, How did he achieved his usual remarkable accuracy 
without supervising the work? It could be assumed, though, that Perret 
trusted an architect in both countries to execute the work. 

3.5.1. Europe (out of France) 

Perret never designed and constructed in Europe except in France. The 
following two buildings are the only projects that he constructed according to 
another architect's design: Algeria Pavilion, designed by Albert Ballu, at the 
Franco-Britannique exposition, London, 1908 (entry 25); The transformation 
of the France embassy in Constantinople, designed by George Chedanne, 
Turkey, 1908-10 (entry 29) 

Nevertheless, Perret proposed several projects all over Europe. The 
following are a list of his unerected projects proposed in Europe outside of 
France: the Palais des Soviets, Moscow, 1931 (entry 151), a monument for 



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Kemal Ataturc, Ankara, Turkey, 1939 (entry 221); Theatre Comoedia, and 
Grand Theatre for Istanbul, Turkey, 1939 (entry 228); a museum for Armando 
Alvares Penteado Art, San Paulo, Italy (entry 245). 

3.5.2. Algeria 

Auguste Perret had a strong relation with Algeria and the Algerian territories. 
Evidences of this intimate relationship is that he constructed the Algeria 
Pavillions in several exposition occasions: Marsillia Exposition, 1906 (entry 
20), and the Franco-Britannique exposition, London, 1908 (entry 25) designed 
by Albert Ballu, and at the International Exposition of arts and techniques of 
the modern life, Paris, 1937, designed by Jacques Guiauchain (entry 202). This 
intimacy is also displayed with his extensive Algerian building list that he 
either proposed, constructed, or both. Although this list requires further 
studies, it will be sufficient, for the purpose of this research, to only state 
Perret's work their. 

Perret designed and built the following: Docks a Saida, Tiaret at Sidi-Bel- 
Abbes, 1907-08 (entry 23); the General Hospital for the Public Assistance, 
Mustapha, 1934 (entry 184); Distribution office of the U.F.F, Boulevard de 
Flandre, rue de Picardie, Algeria, 1936 (entry 196). He also constructed: the 
Oran Cathedral, designed by Albert Ballu, Oran 1902-08 (entry 11); the 
construction of the Office building of the General Government of Algeria, 
designed by Jacques Guiauchain, Algeria, 1929-35 (entry 136); the upgrading 
project of the boulevard Marechal-Roch, designed by Jacques Giauchain and 
Maurice Rotival, 1936 (entry 196); a girls' secondary school designed by Marcel 
Cristofle, Constantine, 1940 (entry 224); and a Jetty for the harbor of Algeria 
designed by U. Cassan and J. Larras, 1948 (entry 251). 

Perret's designs for Algeria that remained unbuilt are the projects for the 
following: Theater for Oran, Oran, 1902 (entry 10); the Cite militaire, Algiers, 
1932 (entry 165); the Governmental and the Agricultural Palaces, Algiers, 1933 
(entry 176, 177); the Paul lefevre house, Boulevard Gallieni, El Biar, 1937 
(entry 204); two apartments building at Ain Zeboudja park, El Biar, 1939 (entry 
218) and 21 rue Desfontaines (entry 222); and a concert pavilion, Algeria, 1949 
(entry 255). He also, with the collaboration of L. Coutry and L. Han, proposed 
a project for a Hangar, Dar el Baida, 1947 (entry 242). 



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3.5.3. Morocco 

Similar to Algeria, however to a lesser extent, Perret designed and constructed 
several buildings in Morocco. Nevertheless, it was in Morocco that Perret 
expressed his finest interpretation to accommodate the foreign vernacular 
architecture to his Docks de Casablanca, Casablanca, 1915-16 (entry 38). The 
Docks de Casablanca, 1919 (entry 38) signify Perret's twofold expression: his 
pure expression of the thin concrete slabs (3 cm. of thickness), and the vaulted 
shape that Perret provided to these slabs harmonize with the Arab cities' 
architecture. In addition to these Docks, Perret built an office for the Perret 
Freres, Boulevard Circulaire, Casablanca, 1921 (entry 57), and Hamelle Shop, 
Route de Rabat, Casablanca, 1920-21 (entry 55). Perret also constructed the 
Magasins Modernes (unknown architect), Place de France, Casablanca, 1920- 
21 (entry 54). 

3.5.4. Tunisia and Lebanon 

Perret proposed two public buildings, that were never built, in both Tunisia 

and Lebanon: a project for the management office of the Societe de 

Navigation Aerienne, Bizerte, Tunisia 1917 (entry 40); an office building, 
Beirut, Lebanon, 1946 (entry 240). 



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4. Perret's designs for Egypt 

That was not the end for Perret's work outside of France. The following 
section will be devoted for the architect's work in Egypt, where he built and 
proposed several buildings. A special focus, then, will be prescribed to his 
built Alexandrine buildings. 

Auguste Perret traveled extensively in Europe, South America, and Africa. 
Zahar points that he visited Egypt, as well as Greece and Italy, several times. 
He also shows some of Perret's notes taken in the Valley of the Kings, that 
indicate that A. Perret was there on Thursday, 17, Friday 18, and Monday 22. 
Perret did not include in his notes the year or the month of his visits. 31 
Perret had some notation on the ancient Egyptian limited use of concrete. He 
said: 

Les Colonnes du Peristyle du Labyrinthe d'Egypt (3600 av. J.-C.) sont en 
beton. La Pyramide de Ninus est en beton; elle est placee sur une voute 
de meme composition qui est percee de petits canaux garnis de poteries 
par lesquels devaient s'ecouler les aux de gachage. Mais les Egyptiens 
n'employaient que peu ce mode de construction. ..C'est aux Romains 
qu'is etait donne de creer une architecture de beton. 32 

Perret designed several buildings in Egypt during the period between 1926 and 
1940 in which Muhammad Ali's royal descendants; King Fuad (r. 1917-36) and 
King Faruq (r. 1936-52), were in control of the country. 33 It is also important 
to know that at the time, Mustafa Fahmy (founder of the Engineers' society) 
was the director General of the Municipality of Alexandria. 34 



31 Marcel Zahar, p. 7. 

32 Quoted from Ibid., p.8. 

33 King Fuad and King Farouk were the last two of the ten members of Muhammad Ali's 
Royal family who regulated Egypt 147 years from 1805 until 1952. The members of the royal 
family were: Muhammad Ali, 1805-1848; Ibrahim Pasha, April 1848-August 1848; Abbas Pasha 
I, 1848-1854; Said Pasha, 1854-1863; Khedive Ismail Pasha, 1863-1879; Khedive Tawfik, 1879- 
1892; Khedive Abbas Helmy II, 1892-1914; Sultan Hussein Kamal, 1914-1917; King Fouad I, 
1917-1936; King Farouk I, 1936-1952. See Vatikiotis, The History of Egypt from Mohammed A I i 
to Mobarak. London 1985. 

34 Mustafa Fahmy was also the director General of State buildings in 1937, the Director 
General of the Tan/im in 1943, Chief Architect for Royal Palaces. See Mercedes Volait, and 
Robert llbert, Neo-arabic Renaissance in Egypt, 1870-1930, Mimar. 13, 1984, p. 33. 

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Unlike the Modern European Pioneers who built or proposed limited 
number of architectural designs for Egypt at that time, A. Perret built three 
buildings in Alexandria (1926, 1932, 1938 respectively,) and Awad Bey House 
in Cairo, 1932. 35 Moreover, he proposed designs for several buildings in 
Egypt: a Dominican Convent in Cairo, 1927, an immeuble de rapport for 
Henri Aghion, 1934, 36 and a villa for Elias Awad at Beni-Suef, 1946. 37 

Apparently, no theories have been proposed by art historians to explain the 
relationship between Egypt and A. Perret. Three things could explain this 
manner: Perret could have been introduced to one of the several Egyptian 
architects commissioned to Paris by the Minister of the public affairs, Public 
Building Service section, 38 during his duration of study there (1891-1901); 
second, Perret designed the Arakel Nasar Bey house (entry 161) for an 
Egyptian client, 75 rue du Janvier, Les Quatre Vents Hill, Paris in 1932, and 
probably got commissions in Egypt through his client; 39 third, there were a 
lot of French families who lived in Alexandria at that time, and a direct 
connection between these families and A. Perret could be assumed. 40 In 



35 Historians, for example Fanelli and Collins, assumed that 1932's and 1938's 
Alexandrine buildings were never been executed. However, a visit to their site reveals that the 
two buildings exist, and that both were constructed more or less according to Perret's designs. 
Perret's Alexandrine buildings will be carefully examined in the following section of this study. 

36 Fanelli in his Perret's building list provides the address of that project: "Rue Ramleh 
et d Aboukir, Alessandria d'Egitto." Fanelli, Auguste Perret, p. 192. After a careful research on 
the names of the streets in Alexandria at that time, I conclude that no particular address 
corresponds with Fanelli's. Consequently, it was impossible for me to check if this building had 
been built or kept in the state of drawings as Fanelli suggests. 

37 SeeIbid., p. 194. 

38 From 1908 to 1931, the architectural scholar missions sent by the Minister of the 
public affairs, Public Building Service section: al-maslaha al-mabani al-amiriyya, were 44. 28 
of them were sent to France (Ecole National Superieure des Arts Decoratifs, and Ecole National 
Superieur des Beaux Arts.) In addition Mustafa Pacha Fahmy (1886-1972) head of the Public 
Building Service Section got his diploma from ENPC (Ecole des Ponts et Chaussees) and 
encouraged scholar mission to the Beaux Arts of Paris. See Mercedes Volait, L'architecture 
Moderne en Egypte et le Revue El Emara 1939-59. CEDEJ, Cairo, 1989, pp. 22-36, and 
Muhammad 'Alwy 'Abd al Hadi, A research and a case study in the Administration of 
Educational Missions program in Egypt from 1813 to 1955, PhD, Cairo, 1956. 

39 For the E and Q Khanh's home designed by A. Perret, 1932, see Marie-Pierre Toll, 
Wliere Beauty is not a luxury, in House & Garden 156: 130-9, September 1984. 

40 The result of the Census of 1917 showed a total population of 444,617. of which 84,706 
were non-Egyptians. French population was 8,556. That means that W% of the non-Egyptians 
were French. For a complete account on the 1897, 1907, 1917 and 1927 census see Robert llbert, 
Alexandria: Espace et Societe 1830-1930. a Ph D dissertation presented to E.H.E.SS Paris' 
January 1990. 



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addition to these three assumptions a forth hypothesis arises knowing that 
Gustave Aghion, whose villa was Perret's first commission in Egypt, was an 
important architect practicing in Alexandria at that time. 41 Moreover, Volait 
states that Gustave Aghion is an "alexandrin de naissance, forme aux Baux- 
Arts de Paris (promotion 1919)." 42 A possible link between the two architects 
could have taken place during their education at the Beaux-Art in France, or 
their profession practice afterwards. 

As it was mentioned before, the study will focus on Perret's three buildings 
built in Alexandria. In order to do so, several visits to Alexandria were 
conducted in the summer of both 1992, and 1993. These visits enabled me to 
investigate the extent to which these building correspond to Perret's designs, 
and their actual condition today, as well. However, it should be noted, as it 
was mentioned in the introduction, that it was not possible for me to get close 
to the buildings, or to enter them because of some political disturbance at the 
moment in Egypt, and especially because of the existence of the Egyptian 
Intelligence Department building in the same district where all of Perret's 
buildings exist. Nevertheless, the information and the photographs that 
could be gathered were sufficient to direct the research. It should also be 
added that a closer investigation, interior analysis, and interviews with the 
owners could open new sights, or might nullify some hypothesis that could 
be mistaken during my distant investigations. 



41 Gustave Aghion designed the ophthalmologic Hospital in the 1920's or 30's, 
sponsored by I. Adah. This notation is mentioned, without references, in Mohamad Fouad 
Awad's paper Italy in Alexandria-Egypt, presented to the Annual International Symposium of 
the Presence of Italy in the Architecture and the Urbanism of the Mediterranean Musulman 
Countries 1869-1990. University of Rome, October 1990, p. 14. 

4 2 Mercedes Volait, La Communaute ltalienne et ses Kdiles, in La Revue de L'Occident 
Musulma n etde la Mediterranee; Alexandne entre deux mondes, no: 46, fourth trimester 1987 
pp. 148. 



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Figure (13): Downtown Alexandria, airospace photograph, April 1977, by S.F.F-I.G.N (France), 

reduced from original scale 1:5000, Egyptian Cartographic Department, Al-Manchia, 
Alexandria. Note that Perret buildings are circled at the lower left corner. Also note that the 

north direction is towards the rikiht. 

2 — 



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Figure (14): The three Perret's building in Alexandria. (Map extracted from the detailed Maps 

of Alexandria, April 1935, original scale 1:500, Egyptian Cartographic Department, Al- 

Manchia, Alexandria). Note that the third huildine did not vet exist. 

■ Li • 



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4.1. Hotel Particulier G. Aghion, 1926 




Figured?): Villa Aghion. Ground floor plan as executed, (by the author, -cale 1:2"IM 

This building is the only structure built by Perret in Alexandria that attracted 
some attention from architectural historians. In fact, it is the only building 
among Perret s work in Egypt with a published photograph. 43 For all Perret s 
other Egyptian structures, historians were content to mention them or 



43 A photograph of this villa was first published in Auguste Perret, (Noted bv Marcel 
Mayer). A. & G. Perret; 24 Phototypies, Les Albums D'Art Druet XVI , Pari-: Libraine de 
France, 1^28 plate 16. Mercedes Volait used the same photograph in his Introduction's cover of 
her book [.'Architecture Moderne en Egypte et le Revue El Emara 1039-59, CEDEJ. Cairo 1989, p. 
7. No other photographs were published of any of Perrets buildings in Egypt. 



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occasionally show their drawings. 44 In fact, all Perret's designs in Egypt, with 
the exception of this villa and perhaps villa Awad Bey in Cairo, were 
assumed to be unbuilt -which is not true. 

Gustave, the villa's original owner, was a member of Aghion family which 
was among the so-called Jewish aristocracy who settled in Alexandria. The 
Aghion family owned large estates and were involved in the cotton industry 
as well as in other major enterprises. 45 Gustave was born in Alexandria 1881. 
He graduated from the Beaux Arts, 1919, and practiced as an architect in 
Alexandria. He was one of the wealthiest members of his family. He owned 
in 1948 10,000 faddan. 46 

Located in a corner block in Wabour El Maya, a nineteenth-century European 
district, the villa is surrounded by: Rue Saures from the north side; Rue 
Mansha from the west side; the Immeuble de rapport Edward Aghion from 
the east side; and three other properties, which are now high-rise apartment 
buildings, from the south side. 

4.1.1. Hotel Particulier versus Palladian Villa 

The French expression 'Hotel particulier' is applied to identify a specific social 
level of habitation. Guadet classifies these different levels by arranging them 
in the following order: chambre, appartement, maison, hotel, palais. 47 The 



44 For Hotel Particulier G. Aghion, 1926, the following drawings have been published: 
a drawing of Perret's landscape design that shows the ground floor arrangement of the plan, in 
L'architecture d'Aujourd'hui no. 4, April, 1937, p. 51; First floor plan (its arrangement does not 
correspond with the previous ground floor plan), a longitudinal section, the entrance elevation 
(north-west), and the porch facade (south-east) were published in Giovani Fanelli & Roberto 
Gargiani, Au guste Perret, 1991, fig. 130-133. The latter drawings, Fanelli stated, are dated to 
February 1926. 

45 Most of the Jews in the turn of the century were situated in Alexandria and Cairo. 
Alexandria was the seat of the Jewish aristocracy. It was considered the best organized of all 
Jewish communities in Egypt. "Among the many families belonging to this stratum were the 
Aghions, the Toriels, the Smouhas, and the de Menasces." See Michael Laskier, The lews of 
E gypt, New York University Press, 1920-1970, p. 47. After the reign of Muhammad Ali, the 
Aghions remained prosperous as they were merchants involved in the European trade, or money 
changers and moneylenders. See Gudrun Kramer, The lews in Modern Euvpt, 1914-1952, 
University of Washington Press, 1989, p. 37, 39 and 79. 

46 Faddan is an unit that express area. One faddan equals 4200 square meters. Gustave's 
properties, then, were 42,000,000 m 2 . See Gudrun Kramer. The lews in Modern Egypt, 1914-1952, 
University of Washington Press, 1989, p. 247, note 22. 

47 Guadet, J. Elements et Theorie de ['Architecture, volumes II p. 167. 

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dictionary meaning of the term is town-house, private residence or a 
mansion. 48 During my description of the building, I will use the term 'villa' 
as it is the closest English word that express the meaning of a French 'Hotel 
particulier'. 

This villa is an example of the Palladian villas imported to Egypt in the 
second half of the nineteenth century. 49 It should be noted that 'Palladian' 
typology of villas has different meanings, depending on cultural definition of 
the term. For example, the American perception of a Palladian villa is one 
where a classical porch projects out of a temple-like building. For Italians, it is 
the country house in which a family spends its vacations. However, for 
Egyptians, the 'Palladian' villa means simply a detached house, the notion of 
which opposes the traditional dense pattern of eighteenth century Arab 
villages. 

Gustave Aghion's villa could be described as 'Palladian villa', not only for 
being a freestanding structure, but also because it follows Palladio's 
description of villas; it contains a central hall accentuated by the projection of 
a terrace flanked by two sets of rooms. Perret could have been inspired by the 
same Palladian style that was exported to France from Italy in the eighteenth 
century. An example of Palladian French pattern is the 18th century chateau 
de Champs whose plan was published in Guadet's Elements et Theories 
d' Architecture. 50 In addition to Aghion's villa, Perret follows this central 
plan design in Awad Bey villa, Cairo, 1932. 

Following the French Palladian pattern, Perret not only shows the social 
prestige of his clients, adopting the symmetric arrangement of the central-hall 
plan, but also retains Egyptian traditional ideas on family privacy, structure, 
and guest reception. In both cases, Perret respected Egyptian identity 
following a foreign building system. 



48 Soo The New Casscl's French Dictionary for a complete account of the term 'Hotel'. 

49 Khaled Asfour, Cairene traditions inside Palladian villas, Traditional Dwellings 
and Settlements Review, vol. IV, No. 11, Spring 1993, pp. 39-50. Asfour also, in this article, 
discusses the reasons upon which this building type imported to Egypt. Perret's extreme 
expression of the Palladian concept of villas is inferred in his design for Ata-Turk monument, 
Turkey, 1939. For the Palladian type of villas, see chap. Ill ()/ the designs of to:v>i-houses, 
Andrea Palladio: The Four Books of Architecture, Dover: New York, 1965, pp. 39-42. 

50 Guadet, Elements et Theories d Architecture, vol. II, p. 44. 

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Figure (16): Chateau de Champs, 18th century. Extracted from Guadet's Elements et Theories 
d' Architecture, volume II, p. 44. A comparison between this plan and Gustave Aghion's reveals 
a similarity in plan organization. 

4.1.2. Haramlek and Salamlek in Aghion's villa 

Perret's understanding of the social situation in Egypt, and his refusal to alter 
the Palladian central hall plan, resulted in the separation of the central hall 
from the salamlek (an Arabic term that identifies the reception hall for male 
non-relatives.) 51 This was reflected in Perret's introduction of two small 
separate structures that he designed on the west and north side of the villa. 
These small rooms allow the owner of the house to meet casual friends away 
from the haram of the house (haram is an Arabic term that identifies the 
intimate spaces of a building, where only few close friends were allowed). It is 
not clear whether or not Perret followed the same concept in Awad Bey's 
villa. Since there is no published landscape design of it, the existence of the 
salamlek rooms can not be assured. 

4.1.3. Perret's contemporary designs 

Contemporary with the design of Aghion's villa, Auguste Perret did not 
design any significant buildings. However, the four preceding years represent 
one of the most important developments of his career; namely his use of 
reinforced concrete in Notre Dame de Raincy (entrv 63), 1922-1924. Collins 
points to the importance of this work not only for its elegant proportions and 
refinement but also for its formulation of cylindrical columns articulated 
within a non-load-bearing envelope. Perret's use of the pre-cast concrete 



3l Asfour talked about the evolution of the salamlek space after the mid nineteenth 
century, and its influence on the design of the detached houses in Cairo. Ibid., pp. 43-49. 



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bricks which contain geometric apertures for stained glass, is notable and 
original. He later used the same blocks, though modifying their design to 
pyramidal shape, in Gustave Aghion villa. 

One of Perret's awkward external expressions, as Collins describes it, was 
erected in 1925 in the Exposition de Arts Decoratifs (Theatre, and Albert Levy 
Pavillion), Paris (entries 11 and 78). Collins states that the expression 
remained awkward because of Perret's occupation with the creation of new 
'rational-classical' style, by articulating the blank facade with redundant 
columns. 

In addition to Villa Aghion, 1926, Perret built several other buildings: 
Cassandre House, Versailles; Veret House, Noyon, France; Chana Orloff 
House, rue de la Tombe-Issoire, Paris (entry 95). He experimented with 
different kinds of infill materials in these buildings. He also proposed a 
design for Joan of Arc basilica, Paris (entry 96). 

It should also be noted that a year later, in 1927, he proposed a design for the 
Dominican Convent, Cairo. 52 No information, as far as I know, is published 
about this project. 

4.1.4. Architectural Description 

The Gustave Aghion villa consists of two main floors: the ground floor, 
approximately 4.80 m. high; and the first floor, approximately 3.6 m. high. An 
additional second floor was originally added in a limited floor area, to house 
the servants. Housing the servants in the upper floor of the building was a 
European tradition imported to Alexandria in the late nineteenth century. 

Being higher than the first floor, the ground floor is sometimes divided with 
a mezzanine, especially in the entrance bay and its two adjacent structural 
bays. Perret was not ashamed to express this division in the exterior. 
Consequently beside his full floor-high French windows, he introduced the 
mezzanine short ones. Perret's solution of the facade was not awkward. In 



52 Peter Collins, Perret, Auguste, in Contemporary' Architects, Ann Lee Morgan and 
Colin Naylor (editors), second ed., St. James Press: Chicago, pp. 691-693. 

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contrary, his introduction of different scales, heights, and materials recalls his 
idea of a 'singing facade' by 'playing' different musical notes. 




Figure (17): Villa Aghion, the North-Western entrance facade. (Photographed by the author 



1 Prjoo? G.aChion 




PROP™ G.ACHION 

otcl aw/ cca ezt 



Figure (18) 




Villa Aghion, plan and longitudinal section. (Fanolli, fig 133) 



A careful examination of the longitudinal section of the building, one can 
perceive that Perret added a basement floor in a limited floor area of the 
house. Since it was not available for me to enter the house, neither the 
existence of the basement nor its use could be checked. However, the external 



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small rectangular windows, below the ground floor level of the north-west 
facade, affirms its existence, and suggests storage use of the space. 

Perret, in order to differentiate between his architectural elements, designed 
three levels of projection: the columns, the beams, and the infill. His 
projection of the columns over the beams was aesthetic more than structural 
in order to emphasize verticality of the building. A proof of this expression is 
the uppermost and the lowermost beams that project over the columns and 
create, with the upper cornice a continuous band around the building. 
Additional nonfunctional elements that Perret added are the two columns 
that articulated the entrance gate of the west facade. Being not structural, 
these columns recall Perret's approach to articulate the blank facade on the 
Theatre de l'Exposition des Arts Decoratifs (entry 77), 1924-25. 




Figure (19): Villa Aghion, west elevation. Note the two columns at the entrance gate. Also 

note the brick work widow frames. 



Perret's drawings of the house lack the representation of the infill material. 
However, a marvelous brick-work pattern framed by unfinished concrete 
structural members, attracts the attention of site visitors. It seems that Perret 
not yet sure or comfortable with the beauty of concrete, which he relegated to 
a structural frame only. He did this by trying to attract the attention of the 
observer to the highly ornamental brick-work, away from the concrete 
construction material. In addition, the fascination of the architect with the 



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bricks made him to choose it as the window-frame material in this villa. This 
contrasts with Perret's typical usage of pre-cast concrete window-frame. 




Figure (20): Villa Aghion, west side, the separate structure at the entrance gate used as 
salamlek. Note the marvelous brick-work and its reinforced concrete frame. 



Perret provided two color schemes to Villa Aghion using gray uncovered 
concrete as structure elements and red bricks as an infill material. In 
choosing gray for the uncovered concrete, Perret introduced a new color 
scheme to Wabour El Maya's environment. However, it seems that he did 
not want to enforce this new scheme on the district. He incorporated, thus, 
red bricks, knowing that the latter were the traditional building material in 
Egypt used in early twentieth century. Perret, though, presented a new 
aesthetic value using this material in a decorative manner. Of course, 
decorative red bricks were not alien in contemporary Egyptian architecture, 
where different coloration of bricks were used to set up decorative 
geometrical pattern. This type of decoration was common in Wabour El 
Maya, and could be exemplified by the villa on the corner of Manasha and 
Pasteur street. Nevertheless, Perret did not rely on the coloration of the brick 
units to set up his pattern. Instead, he used a fairly homogenous red-color 
bricks throughout the building to achieve his pattern. 

Apart from Perret's unfamiliar representation of the red-bricks in Aghion's 
villa, his ornamental use of the material differed, I think, from the Egyptian 
traditional techniques in two additional viewpoints. First, he used exotic 



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brick dimensions (approximately 56 x 24 x 8 cm.) that opposed with the 24 x 12 
x 6 cms traditional brick units. Perret was trying, I assume, to set up a certain 
scale to the building by manipulating the proportion of bricks. Second, Perret 
introduced a wide mortar joints between the brick units-joints are equal to 
the thickness of the brick). I think that Perret was trying to achieve a certain 
coloration conjunction between the gray concrete structural members and the 
joints of the rd bricks infill. The wide grayish mortar joints were Perret's 
approach to achieve this connection. 

Perret, as far as I know, never used red bricks as a decorative element before 
Aghion's building and perhaps its contemporary Maison Chana Orloff (entry 
95). However, he adopted this trend latter in several residential buildings, for 
example in Maison Muter 1928-29 (entry 116) and in Maison Gordine, 1929 
(entry 125). 

4.1.5. Perret's design as executed 

A comparison between the drawings that have been published in Fanelli's 
book, the landscape design drawing published in the Architecture 
d'Aujourd'hui, and the existing building reveals the following: 

a) Auguste Perret had intention to flute the circular columns of both the 
entrance gate of the west side of the building (2 columns) and the semi- 
round porch of the east side. This intention could be read from his 
elevation drawings. Whether or not his design was executed is not clear. 
What is left now are smooth columns, though a reminiscence of radial 
divisions can be perceived. These divisions could be the result of the 
wooden form work or a later refill of Perret's flutes after the columns had 
undergone, I assume, deterioration. I tend to agree with the first 
suggestion that these columns were never fluted, especially because the 
photograph of the semi-rounded porch taken right after the completion of 
the building, published in Marcel Mayer album, 53 shows smooth circular 
shafts. 



53 Auguste Perret (Noted by Marcel Mayer). A. & G. Perret; 24 Phototypies, Les Albums 
D'Art Druet XVI, Paris: Librairie de France, 1928. 

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Figure (21): Villa Aghion, courtyard , right after its completion (from Marcel Mayar, 1928) 

b) Perret's drawings for the villa reveal that the architect designed simple 
steel bar parapets for the openings and the balconies of the entrance 
elevation (west side). This simple design is interrupted with pyramidal 
shaped bars that could either express Egyptian inspiration, or the first letter 
of the owner's family name (Aghion). 54 It could also play both roles. 
However, right above the entrance door, Perret drew a distinctive steel bar 
decorative motive that carry the first two letters of the owner's name (G & 
A for Gustave Aghion). In the opposite side of the building (east 
elevation), Perret proposed different kinds of parapets that are consisted 
with the same reinforced concrete pre-cast units used as sun-breakers in 
the semi-rounded porch. Perret was trying to provide a harmonious 
composition for each elevation. Unfortunately, neither of Perret's 
suggestions were executed according to his design. Instead, an Egyptian 
Lotiform steel bar design was chosen for both the parapet and the steel 



54 Perret seems to have liked this triangular design and adapted it in all his concrete 
precast units that he used in his Egyptian buildings later. Besides that, he uses the same 
design in his Mus£e deTravaux Public, 1937, Place d'lena, Pans. 



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entrance doors. The only pyramidal shape (or A letter shape), which was 
executed, are these three steel bar bands found in the porch facade 
openings. 






FF 



T 



^^ 




Figure (22): Villa Aghion, Eastern facade, Western facade. (Fanelli, fig. 130-131) 

c) Although the ground floor plans of the villa, published in 1 Architecture 
d'Ajourd'hui, 1937, and the first floor plan published in Fanelli's book, 
1991, seem constant in their outline, there are major differences in the 
interior arrangement of the spaces. A closer comparison between these 
two drawings reveals that the main staircase location that leads to the first 



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floor had been altered. Since I did not have the chance to enter the 
building, I interrogated some friends and relatives of the new owner, and 
they all affirm that the interior arrangement of spaces coincides with the 
one published in the Architecture d Ajourd hui, 1937. 55 




Figure (23): A reconstructed drawing of Perret's landscape design of villa Aghion, published in 
L'architecture dAu)ourd'hui, April 1937. (by the author) 

d) Based on Perret's landscape design and the early photograph of the court 
yard, one can perceive that there was a rectangular water fountain in the 
middle of the garden. It is not clear if this water source was used as a 
swimming pool or not. However, its dimensions (16.8 x 7.6 m.) suggest a 
good possibility for swimming activities. Perret located this pool and its 
water jet axial to the porch, and consequently to the main entrance of the 
house. Perret by doing so, created not only a climatic refinement, but also 
pleasant effect for the visitor of the house. Unfortunately, the pool has 
been filled with earth and planted over. However, the recent photograph 
taken of the garden, shows that the borders of that pool still exist. 



55 The new owner of the villa is a member of Shamashrgui family. I would like to 
express my gratitude to my colleague Yasser Aref, assistant teacher at the University of 
Monofia, Egypt, to drive my attention about the differences in the two plans' arrangement, and 
to affirm, since he visited the interior, the Architecture d'A|ourd'hui's one. 



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•v-:--; 




Figure (24): Villa Aghion, existing condition of the courtyard, (photographed by the author) 

4.1.6. Villa Aghion and Clerget's description 

Although Clerget came out with his description ten years after the erection of 
villa Aghion, the villa accords exactly with what Clerget saw in 1934 to be the 
perfect example of Egyptian architecture. The "style moderne" and the "style 
arabe, avec bassin, fontaines, cours" that Clerget mentioned are perfectly 
expressed by Perret in both his architectural expressions using modern 
materials, and his concern with the social life in his plan's spatial 
organization. Perret's usage of patterned bricks as an infill material 
emphasizes Clerget's "usage de la brique rouge apparente dans un style 
Tudor; revetements divers de belle brique". Moreover, on the details level, 
Perret was concerned-by his usage of the pyramidal shape concrete blocks-to 
show what Clerget describes later as "emprunts moderes et judicieux a 
• architecture pharaonique." Finally, Perret did not forget, by inspiring the 
plan arrangement from the Palais de Bois, his French background as Clerget 



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states that "courant a l'etage superieur: style Renaissance ou Louis XVI, sans 
recherche pompeuse." 56 

From this total similarity between Perret's design for Gustave Aghion's villa 
and Clerget description, it seems to me that Clerget based his ideas upon 
seeing this building, and according to him this villa was perfect Egyptian 
architecture erected in the 1930s and 40s. 




Figure (25): Villa Aghion, the semi round porch of the eastern facade. Note the precast 
concrete blocks installed between two vertical elements, (photographed by the author) 



••Clerget, Le Cain.- , vol. I, Cairo, 1934, p. 345. 



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4.2. Two 'Immeubles de rapport': Edward Aghion 1932, SZ and Aly Yehia 
Bev, 1938-39 

In addition to villa Aghion, Perret designed two apartment buildings in 
Alexandria, located in Wabour El Maya district-the same nineteenth century 
district where villa Aghion exists. As it was mentioned before, these 
buildings were assumed, by historians who never visited their sites, to be 
unbuilt. The first is the six floor high Edward Aghion Immeuble de rapport 
built in 1932 for Edward, one of the same Aghion family that was previously 
described. The second is the five floor high Aly Yehia Bey Immeuble de 
rapport, built in 1938-39. The owner of the latter building was a judge in the 
Egyptian court, as one of the present residents of the building informed me. 

This section will analyze some common issues for both buildings, for 
example, the definition of the term Immeuble de rapport, the evaluation of 
the urbanistic integration in both cases and Perrets manipulation of 1923s 
building regulations. A detailed description will be undertaken separately for 
each. 

4.2.1. Hotel Particulier versus Immeuble de rapport 

Before describing Perrets apartment buildings in Alexandria, it is important 
to get an historic account of the development of apartment buildings in early 
twentieth century. In an article published in L'Egypte Contemporaine, 1931, 
Minost provides an interesting study on the built properties in Egypt during 
the period between 1919 and 1930. Based on the Egyptian Annuaire 
Statistique, the author reveals some useful statistic on buildings and their 
growth during this period, indicating the amount of investment in the 
building construction. Comparing between the years 1920-21 and 1927-28, the 
study shows that the numbers of buildings built in Alexandria increased by 
49%, and their lease value doubled. The same statistics applied to Cairo 
during the same period of time, indicated that the numbers of buildings 
increased by only 21%, and their lease value augmented by 30%. These 



57 The French term 'Immeuble' means a type of habitation that consists of several 
floors, and the expression 'Maison de rapport' means immeuble dont la location procure des 
revenus au propretaire (a flat whose revenue goes to its owner). 

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numbers show that the building construction in Alexandria was a major type 
of investment, and they also explain the rapid growth that the city exhibited 
at the time. 58 

Unfortunately, the building statistics at the time did not include the 
nationality of the building owner, so one can study the percentage of non- 
Egyptian owners, and locate their conglomeration within the urban fabric of 
the city. However, Minost, without showing his source of information, 
provides a percentage scheme of owner's nationalities: 72% Egyptians, and 
28% foreigners. He also added that the average cost of foreigners' buildings 
was higher than those of Egyptians': 17.000 L.E. for foreigners' and 6.800 L.E. 
for Egyptians'. Moreover Minost indicates that the foreigners tended to built 
more apartment buildings 'immeuble de rapport' than villas (Hotel 
Particttlier), and that the opposite case was true for Egyptians. 59 

Clerget opposed the rising of these buildings, because, he says, they were: 

. . . baiment miserables, sans styles mal construits, minces comme du 
carton, serres chaudes en ete, froids en hiver, defis au bon sens dans ce 
climat a forts ecarts de temprtature; gros blocs massifs de cinq, six, sept 
et meme huit etages, enormes carcasses de fer. . . Les architectes se 
plaignent que tout doive etre considere en fonction de nombre 
maximum d'appartement, des dimensions exigues de ceux-ci, pour 
louer plus facilement, surtout le temps de crise. 60 

Wealthy Egyptians, on the other hand, were fascinated with the Italian 
Palladian villa which opposed with the dense pattern of their cities at the 
time. Consequently, they started to built their new houses outside the cities. 
However Europeans, considering their stay in Egypt as a temporary stage, 
invested their money erecting apartment buildings and leasing the 
maximum number of flats. They were aware with the shortage inhabitation 
in Egypt in general, and Alexandria in particular, especially after the twofold 
effect of the world war on the country: demolition of many parts of the old 



58 Minost, Etudes Economiques at Juridiques; Essai sur la Propriete batie de I'Egypte, 
L'Egypt Contemporainc, 1931, p. 686. 
59 Ibid., p. 690. 
60 Marcel Clerget, Le Caire, vol. I, Cairo, 1934, p. 325. 

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dense cities, and the interim interruption in the construction work during 
the war. 



i^q, 




Figure (26): South block of the Immobilia building, the corner of Cherif and Qasr al-Nil 
streets, Cairo. Designed in 1937, completed in 1940. (Volait, p. 63) 



The higher the building the more apartments it carried, and consequently, the 
more economic benefits. The lack of building regulations that limit the 
building heights aggravated the situation. It was not before the erection of the 
first skyscraper in Cairo, the Immobilia bloc in Cairo, 1940, 61 that special 
concerns were directed to limit the building heights. Consequently, law No. 
51 on construction and 52 on housing were generated to limit it to 30 meters. 



61 The 18 floors' Immobilia building, 70 meters height, is considered the first skyscraper 
in Cairo, and in Egypt. Max Edret and Gaston Rossi, architects, presented their design in 1937. 
The work begun in February 1938, and completed in January 1940. See Volait, L'Architecture 
Moderne en Etivptc et le Revue El Emara 1039-59 , CEDE]. Cairo 1989, pp. 62-63. 



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4.2.2. Tmmeuble de rapport': Edward Aghion, Rue Pasteur, Rue Saures, 1932 
or 1933 




Figure (27): Immeuble Aghion. Reconstruction drawing of Perrefs design, (by the author) 

Champigneulle affirms that Perret designed this building by adding it in the 
architect's building list. He notes that its name was 'maison Aghun'. Apart 
from the misspelling of the owner s name, Champigneulle states that it was 
a 'maison' not an 'Immeuble'. 62 Two different dates are recorded as E. 
Aghion building s construction period: 1932 in Fanellis book, and 1933 in 
Collins' review on Auguste Perret published in Contemporary architects. 63 



62 Bernard Champigneulle, Perret, Pans, Arts et Metiers Graphiques, 1959, p. 150. 

63 Giovanni Fannelli & Roberto Gargiani, Auguste Perret, Editon Laterza, 1991, p. 192. 
Peter Collins, Perret, Auguste, in Contemporary' Architects, p. 692. It should be noted that in 
Collins' review on Perret's biography, he misspelled the owner family name of the 1^26 's villa 



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Fanelli, in his Perret s building list presumes that Auguste Perret was 
involved twice in the design of that building; first in 1932, and second in 
1933. 64 Fanelli shows only the 1932s project. There is no indication in 
Fanellis review, as well as in Collin's and Champigneulle s, that the design 
had been executed. 




Figure (28): Immeuble Aghion. Reconstruction drawing the existing building, (by the author) 



and the 1932s building (Aghia and Aghun respectively.) 'Aghion' is the right spelling of the 
owner family name. 

64 Two different addresses are provided to the two projects: rue Lomboso, rue Saures for 
the first 1932 design; and rue Pasteur, rue Saures for the 1933 design. What assures me that both 
pro|ects belong to one site is that Fanelli provides Ferret's drawing for the first project, and this 
drawing exactly coincides with the existing building in the second address (rue Pasteur, rue 
Saures). See Perrets building list p. 192, in Fanelli, Au guste Perret, 1991. 



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Nevertheless, one who visits the address mentioned in Fanelli's building list 
(Rue Lombos, rue Saures) can perceive that Perret's design had been executed, 
though some changes could be noticed comparing the existing building with 
Fanelli's published drawing of Perret's design. It should be considered that if 
Perret produced two projects for this building, as could be assumed from 
Fanelli's building list, it will be very interesting to compare both drawings 
and the actual building. It could also be assumed that Perret's second project, 
if it exists, could be closer in its details to the existent building. For that 
reason, and for comparison analysis as well, reconstructed drawings for both 
building's actual scheme and Perret's original design are to be provided. 

Edward Aghion's building: Architectural Description 

The building is six floors height, including a stepped-back upper floor for the 
servants. It should be noted that the 1923 Alexandrine building regulations 
did not, as described before, limit from any viewpoint the building heights. 
The land property has three street facades: 32.00 m on Saures street from the 
north side, 30.00 m. on Pasteur street from the east, and 24.00 m. on Baron 
Alfred street from the south. Another land property located at the corner of 
Pasteur and Baron Alfred street interrupts the regularity of property shape 
which, consequently, became an 'L' shape lot. The property of Gustave 
Aghion where villa Aghion exists, is situated towards the west of Edward's. 
Perret occupied only half of the width of the common line between Gustave 
and Edward properties with a blank wall that belongs to Edward's Immeuble. 
In doing so, he allowed morning sunlight to reach villa Gustave, and also 
respected the privacy of villa. 

The building is situated at the north-eastern corner occupying the total length 
of the Saures and Pasteur streets. It follows exactly the property line with its 
wide angle corner. Perret by situating the building in this corner guaranteed 
that the main residential spaces faced the north and the east. Northern and 
eastern orientations are the best orientations in Alexandria in terms of cold 
air circulation and sufficient sunlight. 

The thickness of the building mass is approximately 15 meters. According to 
the 1935 detailed Maps of Alexandria, a separate small structure was built on 
the south side of the land, right on the property line of Baron Alfred street. 



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The land between the two structures is presently used as plant nursery. There 
is no indication of the original use of the latter structure, or its characteristics. 
However, the existing structure that coincides with the original outline at the 
same location, and is used for both parking space and storage area for the 
nursery equipment. 




Figure (29): Immeuble Aghion, corner of Pasteur and Saures streets, east and west elevations. 
Note Villa Aghion is situated at the far right of the photograph, right behind the palm tree. 

Perret designed a symmetrical building taking the corner of Saures and 
Pasteur street as his axis. Consequently, the two elevations are exactly the 
same design. In order for him to compensate the two meter difference in 
length between the two elevations (Saures' is 32.00 m. and Pasteur's is 
30.00m.), Perret refined the proportions on both facades. He chose Pasteur's 
east side to locate both the building entrance and the ramp that leads to the 
basement. 

In Edward Aghion building, Perret designed a massive building that imposed 
itself on the site. Perret, before the 1930s, did not follow this approach in 
designing residential buildings. It seems that for him, only public buildings 
should express their mass. This is clear is his designs for the Alfred Cortot 



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Concert Hall, 1929 (entry 129), Theatre de l'Exposition des Arts Decoratifs, 
1924-25 (entry 77), and the Theatre des Champs-Elysees, 1911-13 (entry 31). 
However, for him, the mass of an Immeuble de rapports should be dissolved 
in the streetscape by breaking its regularity which in this case he did not do. 

The 'Immeuble de rapport Edward Aghion' is one of Perret's rare examples in 
which he coats the entire building with plaster eliminating the material 
articulation that differentiated the reinforced concrete structure and the infill. 
This recalls his approach in designing the Hotel Particulier M. Mouron at 
Versaille, 1926 (entry 92). However, in the Alexandrine building, Perret 
shows his round reinforced concrete columns that support the balconies. He 
was also concerned with the reinforced concrete window frames which are 
slightly projected from the facade plane. 








Figure (30): Geometrical proportions of Perret's public buildings: Theatre des Champs-Elysees, 
1911-13; and Aghion immeuble de rapport, 1932. (Fanelli, fig. 155-157). Note the upside-down 

portion of immeuble Amnion's drawing, as published in Fanelli's. 

It is very difficult to determine Perret's intention to coloring the building, 
since the latter was built, as it was mentioned before, far beyond Perret's 
design. However, Aghion's apartment building, as it stands in the present 
time, shows a pink-grayish plaster applied on the entire facade including the 
freestanding columns of the balconies. The rainwash over certain parts of the 
facade-the parapets and parts of the freestanding columns-revealed the 
original pink-grayish color. Otherwise the color of the facade were darkened 
due to the effect of air pollution. It should be mentioned that Perret 
experienced plastering his buildings in several projects: Hotel Particulier 
Gaut, 1923-24 (entry 24), Hotel Particulier Mouron, 1926 (entry 92), and the 



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south facade of Maison Awad Bey in Cairo, 1931-32 (entry 159). However, it 
could not be confirmed in the case of Aghions building whether plastering 
the overall facade was the architect's intention. 

Perret seems to level his architectural elements in various vertical planes not 
for the sake of showing their different functionality, but instead to achieve a 
certain monumental scheme. Perret might have had in mind specific 
geometrical proportions that he followed designing the facade. That was not 
a new approach for Perret. He actually undertook the same line earlier in 
several of his public buildings: Garage Ponthieu 1907-08 (entry 22); Theatre 
des Champs-Elysees, 1911-13 (entry 31); and Alfred Cortot Concert hall, 1929 
(entry 129). However, in the case of Aghions building, Perret tried to 
diminish this imposed monumentality by integrating moderate details such 
as the sun-breakers and the metal handrails. Unfortunately, these elements 
were never executed, and what is left now is that large scale building that 
contrasts with the surrounding villas. 

In this building, Perret provided different floor heights according to the use of 
each. First he unified all residential floors to 3.6 m. height, except the first 
entrance floor which is approximately 4.4 m. height. He was trying to give a 
prestigious quality to the entrance portal of the building. Perret, then lowered 
the height of the uppermost servants' floor to 3.2 m. He, finally provided 
only 2.7 m. height to the basement. It should noted that the height of the 
basement is only calculated from Perret's drawing, published in Fanelli. The 
measurement was not checked because, at the time of the survey, the 
basement was flooded and closed. 

Perret was trying through the facade to follow his idea of vertical French 
windows, that expand the total height of the floor (from slab finish to lintels' 
level). Only with some exception was this rhythm broken. That was in the 
bathroom openings and the servant windows of the uppermost floor of the 
building. In conjunction with the installation of these vertical French 
windows, Perret installed small projected balconies which enabled their 
shutters to open outwards. These balconies have no other function because 
of their narrow widths. It is not clear from the only Perret's drawing of the 
design, whether these balconies were included in the original design or not. 
It is also not clear whether Perret intended to provide shutters or not. 



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Reviewing Perret's residential buildings built before Edward Aghion's 
building, one can perceive that Perret used different kinds of shutters 
throughout his buildings. He even left glass windows without any shutters. 
(Compare the shutters in entries 12, 70, 92, 95, 100, 108, 127, 140, 141, 158, 161). 
That means that Perret, although adhering to the idea of vertical opening, did 
not limit himself with a special kind of shutters. Nevertheless, this wide 
varieties of shutters with which he experimented, make the estimation of the 
design of Aghion's original shutters difficult. 




Figure (31): Immeuble Edward Aghion, north facade. Note the elimination of the opening 

frames from both the bathrooms' and the upper servant rooms' windows. Also note the massive 

balconies' parapets 

It would be interesting to investigate Perret's arrangement of the spaces in the 
apartments. But due to lack of information regarding the interior plan 
arrangement this could not be achieved. However, one can estimate from the 
arrangement of the exterior openings that Perret reserved the street facade for 
both bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms. He then kept the kitchens 
and the services to the back facades. What confirms that the rear facades is 



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kept for the services is the existence of a service circular staircase that leads 
directly to the upper servants' floor. 

What is immediately noticeable on the facade are the massive parallel 
balconies parapets. Perret's original intention was to provide simply designed 
metal parapets. It is doubtful that these massive parapets belong to Perret, 
especially because he never experimented with round edges as the 
intersection of parapets and building walls. I could not even deduced from 
Perret's drawing of the facade if he meant to project the balconies out of the 
property line. 

Among the other details that were altered from Perret's design was the 
elimination of the opening frames from both the bathroom and the upper 
servant rooms' windows. Although this fact has no general effect on the 
scheme of the building, it affirms that this building was not erected under the 
supervision of its architect. For the reason that this building was executed far 
beyond Perret's design it could not be criticized in its details. Had the facade 
been executed according to Perret's original scheme it would elicit a totally 
different effect in the district of Wabour El Maya. 

Contemporary to Aghion's Alexandrine building, Perret built Nubar Bey 
House, Garches, France, 1931 (entry 147 or 161); Elias Awad Bey House, Cairo, 
1932 (entry 159). He also proposed several Algerians projects: Apartment 
building, 51-55 rue Raynouard, Paris, 1929-32 (entry 127); and Marine National 
Building, Paris, 1929-32 (entry 128). 



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4.2.3. Immeuble de rapport Aly Yehia Bey, 1938-39 




nm : 



Figure (32): Aly Yehia building, south-eastern elevation, scale 1:200. The elevation is drawn 
upon the Fanelli's first floor plan and site visits, (by the author, 1993) 

This building is not included in neither Jamot's (1927, too early to be 
included) nor Champigneulles (1959) nor Collins (1987) building lists of 
Auguste Perret. In fact, it is only Fanelli who includes the building in the 
architect building list. Fanelli also shows the first floor plan of the building. 65 

Aly Yehia s building: Architectural Description 

The building is located in the same nineteenth-century Wabour El Maya 
district where both the Aghion villa and apartment building exist. It is 
situated two blocks south of the other two Perrets buildings, on the corner of 
Kukh and Belahrs streets. The site has 26.5 m. length on Belhars and 33.00 m. 



65 Fanelli & Cargiani. Auguste Perret, Editori Laterza, 1991. See p. 192 for Perret's 
building list, and fig. 227 for the first floor plan of Immeuble de rapport Aly Yehia, 1938-39. 



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on Kukh. Unlike the two previous properties, Aly Yehia's is almost shifted 
45° degree on the main directions. The land faces, then, north-east north- 
west south-east and south-west directions. 

The building is set back from Kukh street side (approximately 6 meters), and 
is set just on the property line from Belhars street side. In this case, Perret did 
not let the cantilevered balconies from Belhars side to project over the street. 
However, he was careful that the boundaries of these balconies terminated on 
the property line. This approach, which was not followed by Perret in the case 
of Edward Aghion's apartment building, demonstrates his understanding of 
the narrowness of Belhars street (10 m.). It also confirms his concern with the 
overall quality of the urban environment of the district by providing enough 
public space that permits enough air-circulation, and sunlight. 

The average floor to floor height is approximately 4 m. It is not clear whether 
or not Perret provided an upper floor for the servants. An additional two 
stories were added to the top of the building in an unknown time. This 
addition eliminated any evidences of servant floors. A basement floor is 
included in the design, whose entrance is on from Belhars street (north-east 
side). Perret in Yehia's building, unlike Aghions, elevated the first floor for 
about 2.70 m. from the ground level. By doing so, he did not have to lower 
the level of the garage level. This approach of design to elevate the 
residential spaces to the first floor rather than the ground floor was first 
practiced by Perret in 51-55 rue Raynouard, Paris 1930-1932 (entry 127). 66 
Moreover, it seems that from his previous experience, with lowering the 
garage under the ground level of Aghion building, Perret understood that it 
could cause some problems with water drainage. 67 



66 Perrot also elevated the residential spaces to the first floor in his Immeuble de 
rapport, 48, rue Raynouard, 1906. In this case, though, he did so to provide shopping areas 
towards the street facade. His first practice to provide parking area in the ground floor was in 
51-55 rue Raynouard, then followed, though lowered underground, by Aghions building, 1932. 
He finally followed the same idea of the ground floor garage underneath the building in Aly 
Yehia's building, 1938. Perret, as far as I know never applied this idea latter in his residential 
buildings. 

67 In the present time, the garage level of Aghion's building is closed because it has been 
always a source of underground rising water, or collecting rainwater from the not well drained 
street around the edifice. It seems that the drainage system of that level was not carefully 
designed. Lack of maintenance is also assumed. 

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H^m 




Figure (33): Aly Yehia building North corner, Intersection of Kukh and Belhars street. Note 
the additional top two floors. 

Perret designed a set of very effective sunbreakers that he installed on all four 
facades. By doing so, he did not specify if these sunbreakers were meant for a 
climate control or for ornamental purposes. However, I think, that they play 
both roles. They not only provide enough shades into the balconies, but also 
unify the broken mass of the building. Perret, though, exaggerated the scale of 
these sunbreakers. He divided the height of the floor into three distinctive 
planes: the solid parapets (1.20 m.), the sunbreakers (1.20 m.) and the void of 
the balconies (1.80 m.) 

Although never executed in the case of Aghion's apartment building Perret 
suggested in the earlier Alexandrine buildings metal handrails for the 
balconies. In Yehia's building, one could assume that Perret originally 
designed metal handrails following his previous design ideas. In fact, it is not 
clear since there is no published elevation that can corroborate this 
assumption. However, I think in this case Perret actually designed solid 



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parapets that suited his extensive articulation with the concrete blocks. In 
Yehia's building facade, I think, Perret in addition to his usual expression of 
structural elements was playing with both solid and void, light and shades. 
In addition, the material articulation exhibited on the mass of the parapet 
itself confirms that it was Perret's original design. 




Figure (34): Aly Yehia building, north western corner, Belhars street. Note the material 
articulation on the mass of the parapets, also the clear distinction between solids and voids. 

The only exception where the architect used a metal handrail was in the 
second-floor round terrace, south-eastern elevation. It seems that in this 
particular case Perret realized that if he used a solid parapet he would exert 
more weight on the projected window-bay mass. 



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Figure (35): Aly Yehia building, south eastern facade, projection of first floor bay window. 



.< / .v 




Figure (36): Aly Yehia building, south eastern facade, first floor bay window projection. Note 
the round balcony metal handrail, and Perret's articulation of different structural elements. 



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One of the most interesting studies that could be conducted is the analysis of 
the interior spaces of the apartments since Fanelli provides us with the first 
floor plan of the building. Although the published plan is not quite readable, 
one can deduce from its space arrangement that Perret divided each floor into 
two apartments. The first floor plan in the case of Yehia's building is not 
considered the typical residential floor because Perret projected his balconies 
from the second floor, and because of the surface area reserved to the entrance 
of the building. Perret in order to compensate the apartment on the first 
floor, provided this round projection bay as a master bedroom. The first floor 
plan shows that Perret actually designed two bedroom apartments on each 
floor. Each contains an entrance lobby, a dining and living space. One should 
note the separateness of the sleeping areas from the living spaces from the 

ServkeS - B=^jfflte!= 




Figure (37): Aly Yehia apartment building, first floor plan, redrawn from Fanelli's published 

drawing, scale 1:200. (extracted from Fanelli tig. 22", drawn by the author) 



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Two staircases are provided in the building: the main staircases in the central 
core of the building, associated with an elevator, and a service staircase 
located at the north western corner of the building. The former is connected 
to the two apartments by service doors near the kitchen area. Perret defines 
the spaces in his drawing by suggesting a system of furniture for each room. It 
is not certain that the same division is followed in the upper floors. 
However, I believe from interviewing some of the present residents, that 
each floor consisted of two apartments, and that the one located on the corner 
of the Belhars and Kukh was given the privileges in terms of surface area. 



wg j i n ii n iiii i i i i i 





Figure (38): Example of two prototype apartment buildings. Note that the rooms are labeled 

(Ghorfa) meaning room, and all the rooms are gathered around a central space. Extracted from 

Abd al-Mun'im Anf (Handassa al-'imara), 1932. (from Volait, demeuresduCaire, p. 93) 

By specifying and separating the uses of the rooms, Perret departed from 
typical residential plans that were standardized and collected in some 
building catalogs distributed in Egypt after the 1930s. These catalogs aimed to 
present models of residential buildings, and were not concerned with the 
social values of Egyptian lifestyle. Rooms in these plans are labeled as Ghorfa, 
which simply means room, and they are all gathered around a central hall 
called Sala. There was no distinction between living, sleeping or private, 
semi-private, and public usage in these rooms. Examples of these catalogs are: 



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Nagib Gubran (Wasif fi fan al-'imara), 1929, Abd al-Mun'im Arif (Handassa 
al-'imara), 1932. 68 

Perret demonstrates in Yehia's building one of his finest articulations in 
differentiating between construction elements. He identified three different 
vertical planes to differentiate between uncovered reinforced concrete 
elements. The planes are arranged respectively from outside to the inside as 
following: the window frames, the beams, and the columns. In Yehia's 
building, unlike the case of Aghion's villa, Perret respected this order. It is 
only in the entrance bay of the south eastern facade that he broke the 
arrangement, and let the columns project over the beams. It seems that he 
was concerned with providing a prestigious verticality to the entrance bay. 
Apart from this exception, Perret's articulation in detailing these different 
vertical levels was very accurate. Evidence of this precision are the fitness of 
the concrete blocks in their panels, the corner articulation of the load bearing 
elements, and the fine profile of the upper cornice. 

Perret used two kinds of infill material throughout the building. He used 
sandstone blocks as a main infill material, and plastered bricks in the case of 
the parapets. For the infills, Perret chose colors homogeneous with the 
uncovered concrete. He used pinkinsh-gray sandstone and gray plaster. In 
doing so, Perret provided an overall gray color to the building. This approach 
of unification differs from his idea to frame beautiful brickwork with the 
concrete elements in villa Aghion. In Aly Yehia building, Perret seems more 
confident with reinforced concrete. By articulating the concrete 
constructional elements, Perret finally seems convinced with the beauty of 
the material. Nevertheless, Perret, similarly to his design approach in 
Aghion's villa, introduced two new color schemes to the Wabour El Maya 
district: the first is the gray reinforced concrete already experienced in Villa 
Aghion; the second is this odd pinkish sandstone color that opposed with the 
whitish-creamy that was the general scheme of Alexandrine plaster finish in 
early twentieth century. Throughout his building list, Perret's use of stone- 



68 See, Volait, L'Architccture Modcrnc en Egypteet Ic Revue El Emara 1939-59, CEDEJ. 
Cairo 1989p. 101-102, and Grandes demeures du Caire au siecle passe, Les Cahiers de la 
recherche architecturale: espace centre, figures do 1'architecture domestiques dans l'Orient 
mediterraneen. No. 20-21, 1987, pp. 92-93. 

-81- 



blocks as an infill material was rare. Maison Arakel, 1931 (entry 147), Maison 
Awad Bey, Cairo, 1931-32 (entry 159) and Usine Issoire, 1939 (entry 214) were 
among these few examples. 

Contemporary to Aly Yehia's Alexandrine building, Perret built the famous 
Museum of Public Works, Paris, 1937 (entry 197). Perret probably liked the 
design of the concrete blocks used in Yehia's building and he applied them as 
decoration elements on the facade of the Parisian Museum. Being hidden 
underneath the projected cornice, these blocks do not have the same climatic 
role as it has in the case of Yehia's building. Perret parallel projects in France 
shows a great inspiration from his Alexandrine building. 



4.2.4. Perret' s Interpretation of the building regulation 




r street 



1688.5 square 
meters 



^ N 

ars street 


orth /Kukh street 
/ / 


/SJ0m> 


J 


/y.-M^^l 


» / 


4ii& : ::::: : :±6:sd:i»i 


7 / 




Wim./ 


1130 square 
meters 


**l 



(a) Site of Aghion'iS (b) Site of AH Yehia's 

Immeuble de rapport Immeuble de rapport 

Figure (39): Aghion's and Yehia's building site, (by the author) 



Edward Aghion Immeuble de rapport was erected just on north and east 
property edges. Perret did not provide a front yard on the side of the streets. 
In that respect, it seems that he failed to comply with the New Lay-Out 
planning regulations that were initiated in Alexandria, May, 1923. These 
regulation stated that "in all new lay-outs for building purposes the 
proprietors must reserve for streets which will become public an area equal to 
one-third of the total area of the land to be laid out. In the case of existing 



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streets bordering the land to be laid out, half the width of these streets shall be 
included in the calculation of the required area of one-third of the total." 69 

However, a careful examinations and calculations applying the regulations 
on this particular site, reveals that Perret was aware with the law. Since the 
width of both main existing streets on which the property is located (Saures 
and Pasteur street) is 14 meters, and the property has a total length of 62 
meters on these streets, [(14 x 62)/ 2] 434 m 2 could then be added to the 
calculation of required area public needed according to 1923s regulation. One 
third of the total area of the land (1688.5 m 2 > is 562.83 m 2 . This means that for 
this particular land, an area of (562.83 - 434) 128.83 m 2 (or a depth of 2.08 m 
along the land street edge) should be left from the streets side for public use. 

However the property has a third street facade (24 m length) on Rue Baron 
Alfred (14 m wide) in the south side. This will allow an additional (24 x 7) 168 
m 2 that could be added to the calculation of the required public area. From a 
comparison between the set back area calculated previously and the later 
additional area-credit, one could conclude that there is still potential to erect a 
building just on its property-line. It seems that Perret was fully aware of the 
Egyptian law by building his immeuble just on the property line. His 
architectural solution was, as usual, clever, because it not only respected the 
building regulations but also profited from these law by providing a new 
architectural approach that suited the limitations. Perret's apartment- 
buildings in France, for example 25 bis rue Franklin (entry 12), Paris, 1902-03, 
emphasize this manner. 

In the case of Ali Yehia's Immeuble de rapport the total area of the land 
property is approximately 1130 m 2 . Of this area, according to 1923 regulations, 
the third (376.6 m 2 ) must reserved for streets. The width of both existing 
Kukh and Belhars streets are respectively 14 and 10 m. The property has 
approximately 26.5 meters length on Kukh and 33 meters on Belhars. 



69 Riad, Mahmoud. Alexandria; Its Town Planning Development, in The Town Planning 
Review. Vol. XV, No. 4, December, 1933, pp. 246. What is relevant about the interpretation of 
that regulation is that one third of the property area should be left along the property border, 
in which half the width of the street is included. 



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Consequently, according to 1923 regulations, [(26.5x14 + 10x33)/ 2] 350 m 2 could 
then be added to the calculation of required public area. 

Comparing the two resultant areas , an area of (376.6 - 350) 26.6 m 2 (or a depth 
of 0.45 m along the land street edge, or 1 m. along Kukh street) should be left 
from the streets side for public use for this particular land. Perret respected 
the regulation and provided enough set-back area on Kukh street (more than 
one meter), and he actually built on the street line on Belhars street. 

Although it seems that Perret wanted to take advantage of the building 
regulations by profiting from their limitations in the case of Aghion's 
building, he respected the urban values of the streetscape in Yehia's building. 
Whereas he stopped all his projected balconies before the property line on 
Belhars street, respecting the fact that this street is narrow (10 m.), and 
allowing more air circulation and sunlight to the neighbors. 



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5. Conclusion 

5.1. Haramlek; a social respect 

Vogt-Goknil emphasizes the conservative social aspect of the separation 
between the men's and women's quarters in the traditional house saying ". . . 
separate entrances and quarters for men and women were provided to all 
houses and without social distinction. Even houses consisting of only two 
rooms were divided into 'harem' (women's quarter) and a 'selamlik' (men's 
quarter)." 70 

Perret's structures in Egypt confirm the architect's respect of the traditions. 
He introduced a new architectural space typology to his villa Aghion; the 
salamlek, that he never used in France before. It seems that he was aware of 
the difference between the haramlek and the salamlek spaces in the house. 71 
For him, thus, architecture is not a reform of the world, it is a response to 
social, economic, traditional and climatic factors. His intention, by 
introducing new material to the residential units, was not to invent a new 
residential typology, and consequently originate a new life for Egyptians. 
Instead he adhered to the existing Egyptian social values. For him it was only 
the one who will live in the villa who can dictate its program. He believed 
that art can only exist in the environment in which it is developing. This 
confirms with Perret's answer when he was asked about 'tomorrow's theater'. 
He said: 

Vous me demandez ce que sera demain le theatre? Comment le 
saurais-je? Ce nest pas l'edifice qui fait le spectacle. C'est plutot le 
contraire. L'edifice theatre obeit a un programme dicte par lauteur, le 
metteur en scene, le directeur: il est l'expression de ce theatre. 72 

Consequently, in the case of the three Alexandrine buildings, I disagree with 
Joseph Abram who states that "jamais ces architects (the Perret brothers: 
Perret and Gustave) n'auront vraiment cherche a renouveler l'espace interne 



70 Vogt-Goknil, Ottoman Architecture. Old bourne, 1%6, p. 140. 

71 It should be noted that J. Guadet in his habitation typology mentioned the Muslim 
harem and its function in the house. See Guadet, Elements et Theone de [A rchitecture volume 
II, p. 21. ' 

72 A. Perret, Le Theatre de demain. L 'opinion de M. Auguste Perret, [.'Architecture 
d'aujourd'hui. June-July, 1931. 



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de la maison, de l'appartement." 73 Although Abram does not ignore the 
creativity that Perret expressed in his concrete, he accuses that his 
preoccupation with the search for new technology resulted in little 
contribution to internal residential space arrangement. Perret's designs in 
Egypt give a new classical impression. The word classical, here, has to do with 
the relationship between the material used and the program. 'Classical' for 
Auguste, in this case and probably in others, meant to translate the 
traditional, social, political, climatic conditions into a particular design of a 
reinforced concrete building-the only material, as far as he was concerned, 
which belonged to twentieth century. This approach was not only limited to 
Egypt; Perret also gave careful consideration to the traditions of other 
countries where he built. One could not ignore his concerns with the 
Moroccan vernacular architecture in building Docks of Casablanca 1915-16 
(entry 38). He seems to follow the words of his professor, Guadet, when he 
was asked about his opinion on what is original. Guadet said: 

C'est de faire tres bien ce que d'autres ont fait simplement bien. Les 
plus belles epoques d'art sont celles oil la tradition etait la plus 
respectee, oii les progres etaient le perfectionnement continu, 
revolution et non la revolution. II n'y a pas, il n'y a jamais eu de 
generation spontanee en art. . . 74 

Perret followed two different design approaches in his Alexandrine 
structures. The first was to follow the concept of Palladian villa by locating 
the building, whether it is a villa as in Aghion Hotel Particulier or a 
apartments building as in Aly Yehia Bey Immeuble de rapport, within the 
property lines, and therefore creating four facades, and a central hall. The 
second is constructing exactly on the property lines, as Perret did in the case of 
Edward Aghion's Immeuble de rapport, limiting himself to only two street 
facades. One has to note that in these three cases, Perret had enough land to 
place his structures inside their property lines. It is noticeable that his 
incredible respect of his older Aghion's Hotel Particulier, forced him to design 
a blank facade facing it, in an effort not to compete with it. This approach led 



73 Joseph Abram, Un savoir urbain implicite: les immeubles de rapport des freres Perret, 
Les Cahiers de la recherche architectural: L'lmmeuble, No. 22, 1988, p. 54. 

74 Cuadet, Elements et Theorie de ['Architecture, cours professe a l'Ecole Nationale et 
Speciale des Beaux-Arts, Paris: Librairie de la Construction Moderne, vol. I, p. 134. 

-86- 



to an awkward solution towards the urban fabric of the neighborhood that 
was characterized by its spacious detached villas in comparison with the 
dense pattern of the Arab towns. 

5.2. Design for hot/humid climate; Sun breakers (brise-soleil) 




Figure (40): Le corbusier, "En batissant moderne, on a trouve l'accord avec le paysage, le climat, 
et la tradition". (Le Corbusier, CEuvre complete 1938-1946, vol. 4, p. 123) 



In his Egyptian designs, Perret recognized the Egyptian sunny and hot 
summers, and cold winters. He was also convinced with the use of long 
traditional French openings. Therefore he was looking for some device to 
combine both concerns, enabling the sun to have its full effect in winter and 
preventing it in the hot days of summer. Le-Corbusier, later, expresses this 
problem by saying that "le plan de verre est une conquete inestimable. . . car le 
soleil, ami de lhomme, devient ennemi emplacable aux heures de pointe en 
ete, et tres particulierement sous certaines latitudes. II s'agit done de trouver 
un dispositif qui permette au soleil de donner son plein effet en hiver et 
d'etre jugule en ete, aux periodes caniculaires." 75 Following Perret's respect 
of tradition, Le Corbusier was concerned with the harmony between climate 
and tradition in building in a modern way. 



75 Le-Corbusier, Problemes de Vensoleillement; Le brise-soleil, Le Corbusier: CEuvre 
complete 1938-1946 (7th edition, W. Boesiger, publisher) vol. 4, Les Editions d* Architecture 
Zurich, 1977, p. 108. It should be noted that Le-Corbusier was one of Perret's early students. In 
fact, Le-Corbusier was employed by Perret as a student for eighteen months. For the opposition 
between the pioneers' theories, see Giovanni Fanelli and Roberto Gargiani, Perret e Le 
Corbusier : confronti, 1st ed, Roma : Laterza, 1990. 



-87- 



In his first attempt in Alexandria, Gustave Aghions villa, 1926, Auguste 
Perret, attached to his French background, provides a Palladian villa that has 
nothing to do with the Alexandrine hot and humid weather. He also used 
his French-windows without any kind of sun protection, except the wooden 
shutters. However, although limited, his introduction of pre-cast blocks as a 
means of sun-breaker to protect the large glass portal of the south porch gives 
this building different qualities than the ones he built in France. 

Then, Auguste realized that in order to build in a hot and humid climate, 
architects should provide large balconies that act as a cooler station in the air 
circulation circle. He also realized the need of sun-breakers, especially in the 
case of the external balconies, to emphasize this cooling system. Therefore, he 
designed a longitudinal set of these precast units that protected the northern 
and eastern balconies of Edward Aghions apartment building. 
Unfortunately, these sun-breakers were not executed. Consequently, the 
owners of the apartments started to enclose parts of these unused balconies, 
especially in the eastern facade where the sun has greater effect. 

Finally, in his design for Aly Yehia apartment building, Auguste designed, 
and luckily executed, a very effective set of sun-breakers that surrounds the 
four facades of the building. Although exaggerated in scale, these sun- 
breakers not only protect Perret's large openings from direct sunlight, but it 
provide a pleasant aesthetic value of the building, especially because they act 
as an aesthetic link between different facades of the building. Moreover, they 
provide a cooling station in the air-circulation system. It seems that the 
owners of the apartments in this case appreciate what Perret designed for 
them, moreover, they installed, specially in south eastern facade wooden 
units of sun-breakers that have the same design, though in a smaller scale, as 
Perret's. 

It is interesting to note that Perret did not provide sun-breakers in any of his 
residential buildings except those designed in Egypt. Although in the case of 
Edward Aghions Immeuble de rapport sunbreakers were not executed, Perret 
included them in his original design. His understanding of the weather 
conditions of such a hot country generated this adaptation. Not only did he 
respect the weather conditions in terms of temperature, but his 
understanding of the humidity in Alexandria drove him to design shaded 



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exterior balconies that helped to circulate cool air. These balconies are not 
provided in the design of the Cairote Awad Bey villa, where the weather is 
only hot and dry. 




Figure (41): Aly Yehia building, south eastern facade, entrance gate. Note the design of the 
wooden screens in the second floor balcony. 

One should note that the blocks that Perret used here are different than the 
one used in Aghion's villa and those of Awad Bey villa in Cairo, 1931 (entry 
159). In the case of Aghion's villa the blocks were cast so that each unit 
contains a set of equal pyramidal shapes, without any vertical elements. They 
were long blocks, and their length was determined by the distance between 
the elements that they were installed between. The number of the pyramidal 
shapes were determined by the total length of the unit. Perret also provided a 
curvature to the unit so it could adapt to the curvature of the eastern porch. 
In Awad Bey villa, Perret's drawings reveal that the units were pure 
pyramidal shape, and that they were used both upright and upside-down. In 
order for these units to fit within their panels, a half block was required (see 



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entry 159). Latter, in Yehia's building Perret used precast square units that are 
joined together with metal ties within a cast in place reinforced concrete 
frames. Perret used the same blocks a year earlier in the Musee de Travaux 
Publics, 1937 (entry 197). No fraction of the blocks were needed to fill the 
rectangular panels. However, precision in pouring the concrete panels is 
required in this case. 





i-The precast concrete block used in 
Gustave Aghion villa, 1926. Note that a 
curvature is provided along the length of 
the block to suit the curvature of the 
eastern porch of the villa, where these 
blocks are installed. 



b-The precast concrete blocks used in Awad 
Bey villa, Cairo, 1931. (see entry 159) 




c-The precast concrete block used in both 
Musee de Travaux Publics, 1937 (see entry 
197) and Aly Yehia appartment building, 
1938. 



Figure (42): Evolution of Perret's concrete blocksdesign. Note that the drawings are not scaled, 
they are only proportioned from photographs, or Perret's design-drawings, (by the author) 

From Perret's evolution in using pre-cast concrete blocks, one can conclude 
that early in Perret's career, the concrete blocks did not dictate anything in the 
overall design of the building. They were considered longitudinal elements 
that could be sliced to fit in a certain position. However, later in the 30's, 
Perret seems very concerned with these blocks. He provided a certain shape 
for each , and by putting them aside, he could fill the required panels. The 
dimensions of these blocks dictate the dimensions of the panels, and 
consequently the hole design. 



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5.3. Perret sings the oriental 




Figure (43): Tones in the Arabic music, by Habib Hassan Touma, La Musique Arabe, Paris, 1977. 
(Volait, p. 106) 

Although Perret's buildings in Egypt were, as I see them, pioneer works in the 
evolution of Egyptian architecture, they were not appreciated by local 
architects. Sayyid Karim saw this architecture in general as an importation or 
imitation from the West. He also states, considering architecture as frozen 
music, that in order for an architect to build in the Arabia he must be familiar 
with the constant repetition of the intermediate notes in the Arabic music. 
For Karim, it is this repetition that produced the regular rhythm of arches and 
openings. 



76 



However, later in his article, Karim states that in order for the modern 
Egyptian architects to express the diversity of nationalities that existed in 
Egypt in early 20th century, they must mix "the Turkish taqassim, the Italian 
Opera, the Spanish tango, the Austrian valse with the mawwal baladi in one 
spectacle." 77 This admixture is what Perret was trying to achieve. By trying to 
produce a 'singing facade', Perret combines several odd musical notes, and 
tries to harmonize them. 



76 Savyid Karim, Towards a National Architecture in Egypt, al-'imara. No 5/6, 1940, 
pp. 271-275. 

T7 The mawwal baladi is a type of Egyptian music that flourished in the countryside. 
It is mainly based on stories that have a certain moral advises. 



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5.4. Antiquities' law and Perret's Alexandrine buildings 

It seems that not only local architects who dislike Perret's modern 
contribution in Egypt, but also the local authorities. These buildings are not 
yet registered as National monuments. According to the 1983s Egyptian law 
for the protection of historic monuments, the object should be at least 100 
years old to be selected. 78 Nevertheless, if a structure representing the ideal 
use of reinforced concrete in Egypt needs to be chosen, both Gustave Aghion 
villa (1926) and Immeuble Aly Yehia Bey (1938-1939) qualify as serious 
candidates. 79 I excluded Aghion's Immeuble de rapport because this building 
had been executed far beyond Perret's design. The research then mainly 
affirms the importance of Perret's buildings in Alexandria from different 
viewpoints such as: 

a) The buildings represent the first attempt to use uncovered reinforced 
concrete in Egyptian residential buildings. 

b) They are designed by August Perret one of the pioneers architects of the 
world modern architecture, whose work has significantly influenced the 
architectural development of the twentieth century. 

c) The buildings not only are considered entities in the history of 
constructional development in Egypt, but also important examples of the 
worldwide twentieth century development of reinforced concrete. 

d) The buildings embody distinguish characteristics of architectural style and 
engineering specimen. 

e) The general good condition of the buildings should be investigated to set 
up standards for the use of reinforced concrete in Egypt. 



78 Law No 117, 1983 for the protection of historic monuments states that a historic 
monument is every building or object that "is production of various civilizations, or originated 
by a historical art, science, literature, or religion of the consecutive historic eras; is dated at 
least a hundred years from its origin time; embodies a monumental and historical importance 
that shows the aspects of different civilizations which had grown on the Egyptian land or was 
connected historically with Egypt. This also includes the human carcass and the contemporary 
creatures, (text originally in Arabic, translated into English by the author) 

79 My choice of these two buildings among Perret's three Alexandrine buildings, is that 
because the execution of the third building, Immeuble Edward Aghion (1932-33), was far 
removed from the architect's design. 

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5.5. Reinforced Concrete: Analytical Survey 

The previous points are sufficient to consider registering Perret's buildings, 
especially the villa and Yehia's building, as national monuments. 
Consequently, a plan for an analytical study to survey the conditions of the 
reinforced concrete will be suggested in this section. Since, the buildings are 
generally in good condition, this plan will be important to extract values from 
Perret's construction methods and his use of reinforced concrete. This will 
lead, I assume, to upgrade the reinforced concrete construction techniques 
that is almost considered the only building technique practiced in Egypt 
nowadays. 

5.5.1. Importance of the analysis 

The Importance of the analyzing the reinforced concrete of Perret's buildings 
in Alexandria could be summarized in the following points: 

a) Investigate the original building techniques practiced at the time of the 
construction, trying to infer traditional values that resulted good quality of 
reinforced concrete. 

b) Estimate the location from which the building materials came from in 
order to facilitate the repair work. 

c) Understand the original aesthetic intention of the architect towards the 
exposed material; texture, color, . . . etc. 

d) Understand the mechanical, chemical, physical properties of the concrete, 
and how these properties fit into the structural system in which the 
architect used the material. 

e) Understand the material deterioration procedure due to weathering, 
biological growth, structural failure . . . etc. 

f) Investigate the history of building repair and, if it exists, how did it affect 
they the structures. 

g) Design a maintenance plan and estimate its time intervals. Improper 
Maintenance of historic buildings can cause long-term deterioration of 
concrete. 



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5.5.2. Analytical methodology 

William Coney defines an analysis and testing planning for concrete building 
pointing out to four major step: "document review, field survey, testing, and 
analysis. The basic step of his approach is document review." 80 Although 
plans and specifications for the three Perret's structures are not much 
existent, they can be an invaluable aid for future repairs. They may provide 
information on the intended composition of the concrete mix, or on type and 
location of reinforcement bars within the concrete core. Old photographs, 
records of previous repair, or building construction documents may also be 
evidences of original state and changes over time. 

Field survey shall include a thorough visual examination which can assist in 
locating and recording the type, extent, and severity of stress, deterioration, 
and damage of the concrete and its surrounding materials. It is 
recommended that this survey will be based on certain standards to 
determine precisely damage degrees. The American Concrete Institute 
published a useful guide standardizing degrees of deterioration severity for 
making a condition survey for concrete. The guide includes a check list of the 
many details to be considered in making a report, and provides standard 
definitions of 40 terms associated with the durability of the material. It 
should be noted that all the deterioration procedures are illustrated to 
facilitate the understanding of the guide's definitions. 81 

Two types of testing, on-site and laboratory can supplement the field 
condition survey. On-site, non-destructive testing may include the use of 
Schmidt rebound hammer technique, resonant frequency technique, 
mechanical sonic and ultrasonic pulse velocity methods, or a combined 
method of the two latter techniques. Advanced techniques could be useful to 
investigate some particular information. For determining depth of concrete 
cover or the location of the reinforcement bars, Pachometer or cover meters 
magnetic methods could be used. To measure the moisture content and 



80 William Coney and Janey Wiss, Preservation of Historic Concrete: Problems and 
General Approaches, Preservation Briefs, no. 15, p. 5. 

81 ACI Committee 201. Guidelines for Making a Condition Survey of Concrete in 
Service, 1984. 



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thickness of concrete, electrical methods (Dielectric measurements, electrical 
resistivity probes) or microwave absorption techniques could be considered. 
For the study of the initiation and growth of cracks in concrete, Acoustic 
Emission Techniques should take place. 82 

If more detailed examinations are required, laboratory testing can be 
invaluable in determining the composition and characteristics of concrete 
and in formulating a compatible design mix for repair materials. Strength, 
alkalinity, carbonation, porosity, alkali-aggregate, and presence of chlorides 
should be investigated. 83 Chemical analysis, microscopic and petrographic 
examination, visual inspection of the samples, and the concrete/ mortar 
surrounding extraction of the core sample are the main testing procedures 
that should be conducted. However, the results of these tests could be non- 
representable of the general condition of the concrete due to the heterogeneity 
of the material. Consequently, a fair amount of carefully selected samples are 
required. According to a study presented by Perkins, in 1986, no published 
recommendations that can guide to determine the number of cores required 
to enable a reasonable assessment to calculate the strength of the concrete or 



82 For a complete account of the different nondestructive testing for concrete see 
Malhotra, V. Testing Hardened Concrete: Nondestructive Methods, American Concrete 
Institute: Detroit, Michigan, 1976. This book is a review of nondestructive in situ testing 
techniques, stating their field uses, their advantages and their limitations. The monograph 
has been prepared for engineers engaged in the evaluation of quality of hardened concrete. A 
brief table-like comparison between different tests stated in this monograph is included in 
Appendix II. 

83 See Clear and Harrigan, E. T, Report No. FHWA-RD-77-85: Sampling and testing for 
Chloride ion in Concrete, Federal Highway Administration, Offices of Research & 
Development, Washington, D.C. 20590, August, 1977. The research is addressed towards 
concrete bridge decks and marine structures, considering the damage caused by chloride ion 
which induced reinforcing steel corrosion. However, it could be useful if the concrete-building 
investigation is done in Alexandria (sea port city) . The study introduces alternate procedures 
for sampling the hardened concrete with either core drill or a rotary impact drill. In addition 
two alternate methods of chemical analysis are presented, the original titration method (using 
0.01N AgNC>3), and the Gran endpoint determination procedure (titration to 225 mv ± 5 CI" 
electrode or 310 ± 5 mv Ag+ electrode). Part two contains the complete sampling and testing 
method for determination of total chloride ion content. Part three contains the sampling and 
testing method for water-soluble chloride ion content. The last part of the study discusses the 
accuracy and the repeatability of the methods comparing to the two other alternate sampling 
procedures. For our interest, the Sampling procedure could be summarized in two steps: I. 
Determine the depth within the concrete (usually according to the reinforcement bars location 
and depth determined by a pachometer), II. Follow the Core Method (drill the core to chosen 
depth and retrieve) or the Pulverizing Method (using a rotary hammer depth indicator). 

-95- 



the average cement content. Nevertheless, for the mix proportions test, 
determination of chloride content, chemical analysis, the author 
recommends to follow the table 7 of BS5328:1981, the Building Research 
Established Information Sheet IS. 13/ 77, BS5328 respectively, to determine the 
required samples. 84 

The analysis should focus on determining the nature and causes of the 
concrete problems, on assessing both short-term and long-term effects of the 
deterioration, and on formulating proper remedial measures. 

In addition to the previous testing one should consider other analysis that 
deal with the evaluation of the compatibility of a new prepared mix to match 
with the existing concrete. Two main studies are reviewed: A. M. Neville's 
(1963) and W. H. Taylor's (1965). 8 5 Although both studies directed their 
testing to the analysis of the existing concrete only to improve properties of a 
newly constructed one, these analytical procedures could have a major role to 
determine the preservation intervention. For the purpose of our study, 
selected tests will be listed as following: Abrasion and Erosion test; Cement 
Content; original water/ cement ratio; Compressive, tensile, flexural and bond 
tests; Curing efficiency test; Dryness test; Durability tests (rapid, chemical, 
Weathering tests); Fatigue and impact resistance; Permeability and absorption 
tests; Proctor Hardening test. In addition to the previous tests, one should 
consider color matching tests. 86 



84 Perkin also recommends 50 mm diameter cores for the mix proportions test. While for 
the Petrographical tests, Perkins recommends to connect it with suspected alkali-aggregate 
reaction zones in the concrete surface, for the microscopic examination, the author only dictates 
a careful preparation of the thin section. Philip Perkins, Repair, Protection and Waterproofing 
of Concrete Structures, Elsevier Applied Science Publishers: New York., 1986, pp. 283-284. Sec- 
British Standards Institution, BS5328- Methods of specifying concrete including ready-mixed 
concrete, 1981 and Building Research Established Information Sheet IS.13/77. 

85 see chapter 14 'on testing' pp. 209-224, in Taylor, Concrete Technology and Practice, 
New York: American Elsevier Publishing Company, Inc., 1965, and chapter on testing of 
hardened Concrete pp. 385-439, in Neville, Properties of Concrete, New York: John Wiley & 
Sons, Inc., 1963. 

86 Although the studied analysis could be addressed in the preservation even by testing 
the historic concrete or by evaluating the compatibility of a new prepared mix to match with 
the old structure, no color matching testing is described. We believe that the reason is that 
engineers (the majority concrete's authors) believe that concrete is only a structural material. 
They do not admit that concrete could be left unfinished, and a protective coating should 
always be applied on the surface. 

-96- 



Appendix I 



Auguste Perret: Building list 



-97- 



Auguste Perret: Building list 

The following building list is generated based on: 

1 Perret's building list in Paul Jamot, A.-G. Perret et L'Aechitecture du Beton Arme, 
G. Vanoest (editor), Paris: Libraane Nationale d'Art et d'Histoire, 1927, pp. 89-90. 

2 Perret's building list in Bernard Champigneulle, Perret, Pans, Arts et Metiers 
Graphiques, 1959, p. 150. 

3 Published articles that could attribute a certain building to the Auguste Perret 
arhitect. For example: Arakel Nasar Bey house (1932) which was attributed to 
Perret by Mane-Pierre Toll in her article W7z?re beauty is not a luxury. <E and Q 
Khanh restore an A Perret house), House & Garden 156:130-9+ September 1984. 

4 Perret's building list in Giovani Fanelli & Roberto Gargiani, Auguste Perret. 
Editon Laterza, 1991, p. 188-194. 1 

5 The author's own observations to the Perret's work in Alexandria. 

6 Some building's datings were corrected according to some proofs demonstrated in 
latter published articles. For example Joseph Abram claimed that 1905 is a wrong 
date of the Garage rue Ponthieu, and proved that the date of the first Perret's 
drawing to the garage was dated to 1907. J. Abram, Un savoir urbam implicite: les 
immeubles de rapport des freres Perret, Les Cahiers de la recherche architectural: 
L'Immeuble, No. 22, first trimester, 1988, p. 62 and note no. 45, p. 65. 



Notes: 



(*) indicates the buildings that have been constructed, but not designed, by the Perrets 
The italics entries are the projects that had not been executed. 



1-1889, Tour du Temple (A. G. Perret worked with their father only in the construction), 

Universal Exhibition at Paris. 
2-1889, Family summer residence, Ravin Cottage, at Berneval-sur-Mer, near Dieppe. A. Perret 

executed the plans, demolished in 1944. (Illustrated in Fanelli fig. 1). 
3-1890, Maison a Berneval, Berneval-sur-Mer. 
4- 1890, Project of a Casino, Berneval-sur-Mer. 





5-1894-1896, Quatre Immeubles Mitoyens, property of Fracois Granddidier, 32-34 bi^Rue 
Sorbier, Pans 20*?. (Fanelli, fig. 13-14) 



I find Fanelli and Gargiaru's building list the most extensive and complete for Perret 's work 
The authors at the end of this building list, inscribes 8 undated projects that Perret was 
involved with. These 9 projects are not included in my list. See Fanelli, p. 194. 



-98- 




i I——* 



i_H<5^J 



6-1897, Immcuble pour bureaux, 10, rue Faubourg Poissonniere, Paris 10 e . (Abram, Les Cahiers, p. 
5b; Fanelli, fig. 15, lr,) 



1 



1 



...IT. 



i : Ci 




!__ _,*«**' 



±£u.. -i 




-**^ 



Timrn 




'«Sh 



in- 



>* 



< v 






7-1898-99, Casino Municipalle, Quai Dugay-Tounn, chaussee du Sillon, Saint-Mallo, 
demolished in 1^45. (Abram, construction, p. 83; Champigneulle p. 12.) 



y. 




"snEJOLE 




I' - 1 



'.. .-•-•°--. i '>^..^ 



1 ; 



1 «*•»-:•: a L 




S-1901, Study project of Urt etablissement 

thermal a Avril-sur-Loire, Presented to the 
diplome competition. ( Fanelli fi<f. 19-21). 



9-1902, Immeuble a lover du 1 l u , avenue 
de VVagram, Pans 17°. (Abram, p. 57) 



-99- 




, 



tr,_ .. . 




10-1902, Theatre for Oran, Algeria. 
il'anelli, fig. 22, 33) 



11-* 1902-1 908, Construction of Oran Cathedral, 

Algeria, designed by Albert Ballu. (Fanelli fig. 39, 40) 





A r 




{! ' S3 ?v 



L2-1902-03, Immeuble 25 bis rue Franklin, Paris. (Abram, p. 59; Champigneulle p. 17) 

13-1902, Cercle d'escnme Hoche, 11, avenue Beaucour, Pans. 

14-1 Q 04, temporary structure for the Ecole de la rue de la Tour, 44 rue de la Tour, Pans, (wood, 

fibre-cement and plaster) 
15-1904, Immeubled de rapport, 83, avenue Niel, 48-50 rue Rennequin, Pans 17 e , Property of 

Louis Bernard, (steel and stone) 
16-1904, Villa de M. Bonnet, Montereau, near Mau\. (wood) 
17-1904-05, the extension of the Hotel particulier Yvanhoe Rambosson, 6 rue de I'Armce 

d'Onent, Paris. (Fanelli, fig. 37) 


















■ 


. 








— u 


- .- - - 
























' 



























: - 



18-1906, Immeuble de rapport, 48, rue 
Raynouard, Paris \b c . (Abram, p. ^2) 



19-2906, sanatorium project, Trelevern ,C6tes- 
du-Nord 'fanelli, -. 



■100- 



20-*1906, The construction of Algeria Pavillion designed by Albert Ballu, Marsillia Exposition. 





21-1907, La Saulot, rendez-vous de chasse a 
Salbns pour M. LangeSalbns, Loir-et- 
Cher. (Fanelli, fig. 44) 



22-1907-08 2 , Garage at 51 rue Ponthieu, 

Demolished in 1970. (Collins, The Doctrine, 
_p_93 



23-1907-08, Docks a Saida, Tiaret at Sidi-Bel- Abbes, Algeria. 

24-*1908, the construction of an Hotel Particular, Paul Guadet architect, 8 avenue Elisees- 

Reclus. (Fanelli, fig. 125) 
25-*1908, the construction of the Algeria Pavillion, Albert Ballu architect, Franco-Bntannique 

exposition, London. 
26-*1908-10, the construction of the Voyages et Travaux d'entreprise, French Legation, Paul 

Guadet, architect, Gettigne, Montenegro, legatin de France. 
27-*1908, the construction of the French Legation, Georges Chedanne architect, Bruxelles. 
28-1908, project for a Maison bonteille. 
29-*1908-10, the construction of the transformation work of the France embassy in 

Constantinople, Turkey, Georges Chedanne architect, (extensive use of reinforced concrete 

in the transformation work) 
30-1909-10, the interior and exterior transformation of Paul Jamot's countryside house. Bievres, 

Essone. (the interior is illustrated in Jamot. pi. XXXVII, p.62) 





31-1911-1913, Theatre des Champs-Elysees, 15 avenue Montaigne, Paris. (Collins, The 
Doctrine, p.93) 



: Joseph Abram claimed that 1905 is a wrong date of the Garage rue Ponthieu construction, and 
he accused Paul Jamot as the responsible of that. He also proved by looking to the archival 
documents at CNAM, that the date of the first Perret's drawing to the garage was dated to 
1907. J. Abram, Un savoir urbain implicite: les immeubles de rapport des frcres Ferret, Les 
Cahiers de la recherche architectural: L'lmmeuble , No. 22, first trimester, 1988, p. 62 and note 
no. 45, p. 65. 



-101- 



32-1912, Atelier for Maurice Denis, 2bis rue Maurice-Denis, Pare du Pneure, Saint-Germain-en- 

Laye, Yvelines. 
33-*1912-13, the construction of the Hotel Particulier Guadet, Paul Guadet architect, 95 

boulevard Murat, Paris 
34-1912-13, Office of the conservationist Renee Maubel, 4-4bis rue de l'Armee d'Onent, Paris. 

(Fanelli, fig. 62) 






35-1914-21, Monument de Mme Paul Jamot at 
cimetiere Montparnasse, allee Raffet, . 
25th division, PansCher. (Jamot, pi. XX) 



36-1914-15, Hotel Particulier for the painter 
Theovan Rysselberghe, 14 rue Claude- 
Lorrain, Paris. (Fanelli fig. 63) 



37-1914, Project for the Royal Society of Harmome, Chaussee de Maltnes, rue de la Pepintere, 
rue de I'Harmonie, Anvers. 




3S-1915-16, Docks de Casablanca, Moroco. (Jamot, pi. XXXII; Fanelli) 
39-Chapelle chez Maurice Denis, Saint-Germain, Paris. 



-102- 





; 















40-1917, Project for the Societe de Navigation Aerienne, Bizerte, Tunisia. (Fanelli, fig. 69-71) 
41 - 1<->1 S- 1 *->, (192lY\ Ro/anos jewellery shop, Corner of rue do la Paix and rue des petit-Champs, 

Paris. 
42-1919, Project of a single family, one floor house, Casablatica. 
43-1919, Docks de la Societe industnele at Casablanca, Moroco. 




131 I 



44-1919 (1923)"*, A tailor headquarter for Henri Esders, 75-77 avenue Phillipe-Auguste, Pans, 
demolished around 1960. Perret's first attempt for floor prefabrication. (Champigneulle p. 
39Fanelh fig. 73, 74. ) 

45-1 91 «, Atelier Voinn, Montataire, Oise. 

46-1919-21), the gallery of Saint-Louis chapel, 2bis rue Maurice Denis, Saint-Germain-en-Laye. 

47-1919-21 (1923-1927) 5 , Ateliers Marmoru, Montataire, Oise. (see Champigneulle p. 39) 

48-1919-21, Ateliers Fonderie Wallut, Montataire, Oise. 

49-1919-21, Fonderie Grange, Montataire, Oise. 

50-1920, Department store of the Paris-Maroc society, Rue de Libourne, Casablanca. 



^Champigneulle dates this building to 1921, he also specifies it as jewellery shop. 
"^Champigneulle dates this building to 1923. 

""Champigneulle claims that this atelier was built in the period between 1923 and 1927 in his 
notices (p. 143). Then he dated the building to 1920-21 in his Perret's biography (p. 150). 
Bernard Champigneulle, Perret, Paris, Arts et Metiers Graphiques, 1959, p. 143 & 150. 
Howevwer Jamot's dating to this atelier is 1919-21. Paul jamot, A.-G. Perret et L'Aechitecture 
duBeton Arme , G. Vanoest (editor), Paris: Librairie Nationale d'Art et d'Histoire, 1927, p. 90. 
Comparing the books' publication date and the construction date of the building, one should 
agree with Jamot 's dating more than Champigneulle's. 



-103- 



52-2920, Project of an Airoplaines-hangar for the Service de la Navigation Aerienne. 
52-1920, a Factory and the extension of the 'rendez-vous de chasse' La Saulot, Salbns, Loir-et- 
Cher. 





53-2920, Project of Maisons ouvneres. (Fanelli fig. 110) 



54-*1920-21, the construction of the Magasins Modernes, unknown architect, Place de France, 

Casablanca, Moroco. 
55-1920-21, Hamelle Shop, Route de Rabat, Casablance, Moroco. 
56-1921, F.E.R. factory, Aulnois. (Jamot's building list) 
57-1921, Office for the Perret Freres, Boulevard Circulaire, Casablanca, Moroco. 




tffciir lit ^t^rS* 7 Isww 



^ 



58-1921, "maisons en serie". Published in Esprit noitveau, no. 13. (Fanelli, fig. Ill, 112.) 

59-1921, A project of a Hangar for the Service Technique de l'Aeronautique, Ministry of public 
work, Villacoublay , Yvelines. (see Fanelli fig. 72) 






60-1922, project for "Matsons-Tours". Published in 
Illustration, August 12. 1922, and in Science 
et la Vie, December 1925. {Fanelli, fig. 105.) 




ml ' J - 

v. 



-104- 



61-1922, Societe marseillaise de credit, 4 rue Auber. (large use of reinforced concrete) 




^^3^iSS&SSaB8! 



62-1922, Residential complex, A. Andre Fils 63-1922-23, Notre Dame du Consolation Church 
company, Grand-Quevilly, near Rouen. 83 avenue de la Resistance, Le Raincy. 
(see Fanelli fig. 115-117) (see Jamot, pi. XXV; Fanelli fig. 78-86) 








64-1922, Atelier Durand for decoration paintings, 47 rue Olivier-Metra, Paris XX e . (see 
Champigneulle p. 36; Fanelli fig, 75, 76) 

65-1923, Maison a Grand-Quevilly, Grand-Quevilly, near Rouen. 

66-1923, Le pont d'argent, constructed for the Petits Lit Blancs festival. Theatre de Champs- 
Elysees. 

67-1923, Pavilion of the first exhibition of the Salon de Tuilenes, Tuilenes Park, Paris, 
demolished. (Fanelli's building list) 

68-1923, the redesign of the Hotel Particular Ro/anes, 46 rue Poussm, Paris, demolished. 



-105- 





fe5 



' 



UK ' 




69-1923-24, Transformation of the Hall do la 70-1923-24, Hotel Particular M. Gaut, 2 park 
Societe marseillaise decredit, rue Auber Montsouns, rue de Nansouty. 
(Jamot, pi. XXXV) (Fanelli fig. 118-120) 



^^ 




1 

1 -• 


^cc 




- © 

71-1923-26, Service building; pavilhon; stable; and projects for gardener house and gaz tank, 

Baillon Castle, near Chantilly, avenue San-tiago-Soulas. (Fanelli fig. 126, 127) 

72-*1923-27, the construction of the Hotel particulier, E. Mottini architect, Neuilly-sur-Seine. 

i 








73-1924, The restoration of "Le Clocher de 74-1924, Le Palais de bois, for the Societe 
Saint-Vaury ", Crense. The bell tower after d'artistes, Salon des Tuilenes, Boulevard 
and before restoration. The cockof the bell Lannes, Porte Maillot, Paris, demolished in 
tower bv Pomponilamot, pi. XXXIV) 192S. (Jamot, pi. XXXIX) 



-106- 



75-*1924, the construction of a theatre, Auguste Bluysen architect, 4 rue de la Michodiere, Pans. 
76-*1924, the construction of Henri Esders shop, M. Henrion and E. Berthelot architects, 122-126 
rue de Rivoli, Paris. 




77-1924-25, Theatre de ['Exposition des 
Arts Decoratifs, the Exposition of the 
Decorative Arts. Demolished after only 
few months of its erection. (Fanelli, fig 98) 



78-1925, Le Pavillion Levy (Samantaine 
afterwards), at the Exposition of the 
Decorative Arts, demolished 1925. 
(Fanelli fig. 104) 



7^-1925, Le Credit national hotelier, (transformation of an 'immeuble 
to a bank), rue de la Ville l'Eveque. 




80-1924-25, The Tour of Grenoble (95.5 m., 7.95 of diameter), at the 

International Exposition of decorative arts, Grenoble. (Fanelli fig. 

92) 
81-1924-25, the redesign of Paul Poiret's appartement and the Martine 

studio, Rond-Point des Champs-Elysees, Pans. 
82-1925, Loraine factory, 151 avenue du President-Wilson, La Plaine Saint-Deniv 
83-1925, Copeau factory (Gras and Sackiteder properties), 151 avenue de la Republique, 

Bagnolet, Seine-Saint-Denis. 
84-1925, Auto-Accessories factory, 19 rue Ibry, Neuilly-Sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine. 
85-1925, Project of Saint-Joseph chapel and church, Dijon, (see Fanelli fig. 80) 
86-1925, Project of an office and residential building , Clement Bayard, property, 4 rue 

Berteaux-Dumas, Keuilly-<ur-Seine . 
87-1925, Project of an immeuble de rapport at Perret's property, 51-55 rue Raynouard, Paris. 
88-1925, Office building for the Credit National Hotelier, 3 rue de la Ville-l'Eveque, Pans. 

Modified in 1989 



-107- 




89-1925, project of Maison-Tours, 
(Fanelli, fig. 107) 



90-1925-26, Eglise Sainte-Therese 

Rue d'Epinay, Montmagny, Val-d'Oise, near Saint 
DenisDecorative Arts, demolished 1925. 

(Champigneulle p.43, Fanelli, fig. 87) 

41-*1925-27, the construction of an office buildingand a pavillion at the Museum d'Histoire 
Naturelle complex, unknown architect, Jardins des Plantes, rue Poliveau, Paris. 




92-1926, Hotel Particular M. Adolphe Mouron, 11 rue Albert-Jolv Versailles. (Fanelli fig. 121, 

see also Jamot, pi. XXXVII for the interior) 

93-1926, Maison Veret, Noyon. 

94-1926, Galerie Katia Granoff, 166, Boulevard Haussmann. 



-108- 








95-1926, Maison de Madame Chana Orloff, b , 96-2926, Project presented to a competition of 
RuedelaTombelssoire. 7 (Fanelli, fig. 134) Saint-Jeanne a" Arc chapel . (200 m. clocher), 

Place de Torcy, rue de la Chapelle, Paris. 
(Champigneulle p. 49. Fanelli fig. 90) 




97-1926, Hotel Particulier Gustave Aghion, Alexandria, Egypt, (see Fanelli fig. 130-133; 
Marcel Mayar for a photograph; ('architecture d'aujourd'hui, April 1937, p. 51 for the 

landscape design; the author's own photographs) 

98-1926, Factory of cabinet-maker, Gentilly, Val-de-Marne. 

99-1926, Project of Salon des Tuileris office building, Avenue de Neuilly, Paris. 



"Champigneulle addresses an Sculpture Atelier as the function of this building. Bernard 
Champigneulle, Perret, Pans, 1959, p. 145. However in his text he states that it was a 'maison' 
(p. 65) 
' Fanelli provides '7bis villa Seurat, Paris' as the adress of the Chana Orloff's studio. 



-109- 




100-1927, Maison Georges Braque, 6 rue 8 101-1927, Project of Marc Chagall house and 
Georges-Braque, Paris. (Fanelli, fig. 138 studio, Bellevue Hauts-de-Seine. (FanelH 
; fig. 139, plan) fig- UP 

102-1927, Greenhouse in the Barone Fould Castle complex, Royaumont, Val-d'Oise. 

103-1927, Project of a chapel, 21 rue Blanche, Paris. 

104-1927, the redesign of the apartement of Andre Gide, Rue Vaneau, Paris. 




105-1927, project of the Palais des Nations. Geneve. (Champigneulle p. 73. fanelli, fig 146, 147 < 
1 06- 1 92, ~ u pro|ect for a Convent de domimcaines . Cairo, igupt. t Champigneulle and lanelli 

building lists) 
107-1927, Lycee de jeunes filles, Constantine. 



''Champigneulle's address is Rue Douaruer' 
'Fanelli dates this project to 1930-32. 



-110- 




108-1927-28, Maison Bresy, 17 Villa Said, 
Paris. Champigneulle p. 70 , see also 
Mayer p. 1 and Fanelli fig. 145 



109-1927-28, Chapelle d'Arcueil, 52 avenue 
Laplace, Aecueil, Val-de-Marne. 
Champigneulle p. 46 



110-1927-2$, Project of a chapel, Convent of Le Rosier de Saint-Francois., 80 Faubourg 

Montmelian, Chambery , Savoie. 
111-1927-30, the extension of the Marinoni factory, Montataire ,Oise. see Mayar for an interior 

photograph 



i - W 

4 




'^M: 




- 



2 

-.inn 



1 



* a. 



10- 

f 



U2-1928, project of a seminar, Pans, 
ilanellifig. 148) ' 



j 



113-2928, Project for the Salon de Tuilenes 
office building, Boulevard Lannes, Porte 
Maillot and Pont Lalo, Paris. (Fanelli's 

fig- V\ 



114-1928, Pavillion and aviar, Pierre Gaut yard, Avenue du Calvaire, Sceaux, Hauts-de-Seine. 
215-1928, Project of a building, rue Villiers de i Isle-Adam, Paris. 



in- 




L16-1928-29, Maison Mela Muter, Villa 
Seurat, r> allee Maintenon, in 114bis rue de 
Vaugirard, Pans, (Fanelli fig. 143) 



117-1928-31, Office building for the Service 
Technique des Constructions Navales, 8 
boulevard Victor, Pans. (Fanelli fig. 181) 



118-1928-32, Prieure Sainte-Mathilde buildings, 5-7 rue d'Issy, Vanves, Hauts-de-5eine. 

U9-1929 10 , Extension of Juvisy-sur-Orge church, uvisy-sur-Orge, Essone. 

120-1929, Monument a Gustave Eiffel (with the collaboration of Emile-Antoine Bourdelle and 

Andre Granet), Tour Eiffel, pilone Nord, Champs-de-Mars, Pans. 
121-1929, Chapelle at the Colombiere school, 72 rue d'Autun, Chalon-sur-Saone, Saone-et- 

Loire. 
122-1929, Monument Maynch, Route de Chalons-sur-Marne. 
123-1929, Monument a Colpach, Luxembourg. 





124-l u 29, Maison Marguerite Hure, 25 rue 
du Belvedere , Bologne-Billancourt , 
Boulognc-Mir-Seine. (Fanelli fig. 142) 



125-1929, Maison Dora Gordine, 21 rue du 

Belvedere, Bologne-Billancourt Boulogne- 
sur-Seine. (Fanelli fig. 144) 



12n-1^2 (J , Amenagement de la Galene Katia Granoff, Quai Conti. 



10 Fanelh's date for this church is 1927. 



-112- 




nun 




127-1929-32, Immeuble 51 rue Raynouard, Pans. (Champigneulle p. 85, 86) 



g^s m 







rr 










128-1929-32, the Marine National, 8 129-1929, Concert Hall Alfred Cortot, de 1'Ecole 
boulevard Victor, (Champigneulle p. 81 ) normale de musique, 7b rue Cardinet, Pan-. 
(Champigneulle p. r>3: Fanelli fig 14 u ) 

130-H29, Couvent des Oblates de Saint Benoit. 

131-1929, Monigny factory, 21 rue Lucie, 5aint-Maur-des-Foss£s, Val-de-Mame. 

132-*1929, the construction of houses for the workers of Mannoni company, J. Nougivenade, 
architect, Thivemy. 

133-1929, Wisner factory, 29 rue de Neuilly, Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine. 

134-1929, Protect of an Art Museum, Near the Bois de Bologne, Paris. 



-113- 



135-1929-30, Maison Maurice Lange, 9 Place de la porte do Passy, Pans. Avenue Ingres, (see 

Fanelli fig. 166-168) 
136-*1929-35, the construction of the office building of the General Governement of Algeria, 

Jacques Guiauchain architect, Algeria. 




— ,— r—r- ~— t Sj 



>. 



■ -'•■ 



■- 



'mm ¥■ 

137 '-1930, project for a facade for the Galenes Lafayette. Chaussee d'Antin, rue de Provence. 
rue de Mogador, Pans. (Fanelli fig. 186) 



138-1930, project for the Musee Bourdelle. 
139-1930, froject of a Musee Moderne. 




3 «0**lG -.5t>*STC5 



140-1930, Project of an immeuble de rapport, 
at /. Sevastos property, Rue Ningesser- 
et-Coli, Pans. (Faneli, fig. 179) 




'MM® 



141-1930, Project of an immeuble de rapport, at 
M""' Caltier property, 21 rue Eugene - 
riachat. Pans, (fanelli fig. 180] 



142-1930, Project of an hotel particular for Pol Neveu, Saint-Cloud, Hauts-de-Seine. 
143-1930-31, the transformation of the Frferes Capucms convent, Saint-Symphorien, Tours. 
144-1930-31, the transformationof the Musee Magnm, Di|on. 

145-1930-31, Project of La Paix blotre-Dame monastery. Amillis, near Coulommiers, Seine-et- 
Marne. 



■114- 



146-1930-31, Project presented at a competition of the Plan of 
Porte Maillot, Porte Maillot, Pans, (fanelli fig. 191-192) 












.J 





147-1931, Maison Nubar Arakel Bey, Rue du 19 Janvier, Garches, Hauts-de-Seine. 

(Champigneulle p. 68. Fanelli tig. Ib9) 

148-1931, Societe deTravaux de Construction Navales. 

149-1931, Chapelle, Bibliotheque of L'Action populaire, 15 rue Raymond-Marcherson, Vanves, 

Hauts-de-Seine. 







n. 






: ■* a, -v 



■ V^^W 




150-1931, project of the extension of Porte 
Maillot, Place de la Victoire. 

(Champigneulle p. 99) 



151-1931, project for the Palais das Soviets. 
Moscow,, (see Champigneulle p. 73 & 
74. Fanelli fig. 193-195) 



IE 




-n=r?E% 



iifflM 
ill ill III 
III III III 



lil lUlPIUHlllji 



152-1931, C.P.D.E.. (Champigneulle building list) 

153-1931, Project of Bourdelle Meseum, Paris. 

154-1931, Project of Jean Rodier villa, Rue du Mont-Valenen, Sawt-Cloud,Hauts-de-Seine 

155-1931, Project of a theatre Hall, 

Boulevard Montparnasse, 

Paris.. 
156-*1931, the construction of the 

Pavillion of the Societe 

Marseillaise de Credit, 

unknown architect, at the 

International Colonial 

Exposition, Paris. 
157-1931-32, Project of an oratory, 9 

rue Mineurs, Strasbourg, 
158-1931-33, Protect of an immeuble 

de rapport, Augusts Galtier 

property, 3 avenue Matignon, 

Pans. (Fanelli fig. 176-1 



III III III 



III III III 



ill III III 



fc'l&iErliTn 

CE.'C-ltt 

resin 

ETCcEiirc 

lErciCiirD 

rTr- 



•115- 



"RSI - F5E 

bl b 



k»-»»n p*Ti*A*J r*'V3 

k*r*r» r»^»*** ^a»»*i 



E 







pp~r[ pum DmiP 









^ ! #% 




15^-1^31-32, Maison Awad Bev, Cairo, Egypt. 11 (Champigneulle, p. 69& 134; Fanelli fig. 172- 

175) 




160-1932, project for the Arsenal de loulon, Toulon. (Fanelli fx^. 1S7-190) 



1 'it is not clear from the literature review whether this villa was erected or not. One should 
note the difference between the two sot of Ferret s drawings for this villa that are published in 
both Fanelli (the middle left, and the lower illustrations) and Champigneulle (the upper left 
and the upper right illustrations) 



-116- 




161-1932, Arakel Nasar Bey house (Emmanelle and Quasar Khanh house, after 1975), 75 rue du 
Janvier, Les Quatre Vents Hill, Pans. 12 (Mane-Pierre Toll, Wiiere beauty is not a luxury. 
House & Garden. 156, 1984, p. 131. 




162-1932 13 , Mobilier National, 1 rue Berbier-du-Mets, Pans. (Fanelli, fig, 200) 

it>3-1932, project of a Chapelle, Strasbourg. 

164-1932, project for the Cite de la Presse. 

165-1932. project of a Cite militaire, Algiers, Algeria. 

166-1932, Project for a competition of a parish church, Rue Victor-Desvigne, rue de Verdun, 

Metz. 
167-1932, Project of a residential district at La Cite de la Presse, Montlignon, Saint-Prix, Seine- 

et-Oise. 
168-1932, Restoration of the Marinono factory, % rue d'Arras, Paris. 
169-1932, Project of a building for the Placement Familial des Fout-Petits, Chevilly ,Loiret. 



] - Arakel Nasar Bey house is published in Mane-Pierre Toll, Wiiere beauty is not a luxury. iF 
and Q Khanh restore an A Ferret house). House & Garden 156:130-9-1- September '84. Toll dates 
it to L932 which differs it from Nubar Arakel Bey House, 1^31 (entry 147). Moreover Toll states 
that 75 rue Janvier is the address of this building, and that contradicts with Champigneulle's 
address (1« rue Janvier). However, the exterior photograph published in rolls article 
coincides with the drawings of Nubar Arakel Bey House, 1931. (compare entry 1M and 147) 
13 Fanelli's date for this building is 1934-36 



-117- 



270-2932, Project of the an office building and laboratory for the Mational Marine, Rue de Paris, 

Indret. 
171 -'1932-37, the construction of Louis Pasteur Hospital, William Vetter architect, Colmar, 

Haut-Rhin. 



.zi-z-zuu u 




172-1932-33, 14 Immeuble de rapport Edouard Aghion, rue Pasteur (Lomboroso), rue Saures, 
Alexandria, Egypt, (Fanelli, fig. 157; the author's own photographs) 

273-2933, Project of jean Cartan sepulchral monument, Dolomieu . 

l~4-1933-34, project for the Trocadero and the general plan of 1937 "s exposition. Trocadero. (see 
Champigneulle p. 202- 202) 

275-2933, project for the Exposition de Marseille, Marseille. 

276-2933, project of a Governemental Palace. Algiers, Algeria. 

177-1933, project of an Agricultural palace, Algiers, Algeria. 

178-1933, project for the Extension of Metz port. Metz. 



179-1933, Project of general plan of the 
International Exposition of Arts and 
Techniques of the modern life , 1937,. 
(Eanelli, fig. 196) 




14 Fanelli states that Perret designed for Edoward Aghion two pro|ects in 1932 and 1933. 
Although Fanelli provides two different addresses tor the two designs (rue Lomboso, and rue 
Pasteur), I assume that both correspond to one site. For explanation see point 4.2.2 



-118- 



180-1934, Maison Paul Lefevre, Sceaux. 
181-1934, Garde-meuble National. 




182-1 934, Charles Mauduit House, 4b avenue Racine, Sceaux, Hauts-de-Seine. (Fanelli fig. 206) 

183-1 Q 34, a laboratory, 48 rue de la Procession, Pans. 

184-1934, General Hospital for the Public Assistance, Mustapha, Algeria. 

185-1934, Project of the immeuble de rapport at Henri Aghion property, Rue de Ramleh and rue 

d'Aboukir, Alexandria, Egypt. 
186-1934, Project of a jardin d'hiver, ]ardins des Plantes, 57 rue Cuvier, Pans. 




|l 1 1 II 



187-Vila Perigord, Avenue du Champ-de- 

Juillet, Limoges, Haute-Vienne. (Fanelli 

fig. 208) 

L8&-1935, Pontdel'Arc. 

189-1935, Project of a bridge over Oued Serdoun, Chemam vicinal n. 4. 

290-1935, Project of a monument, Route de Strasbourg, Lione. 

191-1935 , Project of a Pavillion at the M me Clacquesin property, Le RecouJc .Manic. 

192-1936, Distribution office of the U.F.F., Boulevard de Flandre, rue de Picardie, Algeria. 

193-1936, Project of Presbytanan, 83 avenue de la Republiquc, Le Raincy. Seine-Saint-Denis. 

194-1936, the preparation of the French section, VI triennale of Milan. 

195-1936, project of a Pershing Monument , Route de Versatile. 

l t Jh-*1936, the upgrading construction of the area of the boulevard Marechal-Roch, Jacques 

Giauchain and Maurice Rotival architects, boulevard Marechal-Roch, Algeria, (see 

Fanelli, fig. 223) 



-119- 



IHHHlHllfflHI. 



I I 




197-1937, Musee desTravaux Publics, Place d'lena, Paris, (see Champigneulle, p. 90-95. Fanelli 
212-222) 




& 




m 



«■ 1 -fi 



1 



■ u,..iu_ <jh i. -"-■] 



198-1937, projectfor the Palais de 
Chaillot. (Champigneulle p. 102) 



199-1937, a projecto presented in the competition 

of Genral John Joseph Pershing and the American 
army monument. Route Nationale 1S5, Butte-de- 
Picardie, near Versailles 



200-1937, Project of Lilian Holbrook Sepulchral monument, Neuilly -sur-Seine cemetry, Hauts- 

de-Seine. 
201-1937. Project of Maret's hospital, Maret. 
202-*1937, the construction of the Algeria Pavillion, Jacques Guiauchain architect, at the 

International Exposition of arts and techniques of the modern life, Paris. 



120- 













*|f 



203-1937, Hygiene & Eau Pavillion; Public work rrunisty Pavillion; and project for Argentina 
Pavillion, at the International Exposition of arts and techniques of the modern life, Pans. 
(Fanelli fig. 224) 

204-1937, a project of Paul lefivre house, Boulevard Galliem, El Biar, Algeria. 

205-1937, a project of a Theatrical Hall, 44-146 avenue des Champs-Elysees, Paris. 

206-1937, a project of a laboratory, 16-18 rue Emeneau, Paris. 

207-1937, a project of a school for the ministry of the marine, 8 boulevard Victor, Paris. 

208-1937, a project of Canoine Cornette sepulchral monument. 

209-1937-45, Saint-Charles factory, Eragny, Oise. 

210-1938, a project for Bellonet villa, Molineuf. (see Fanelli fig. 225, 226) 

211-1938, Pierre Bares book store, Avenue Friedland, Paris. 




■* . : izf-c^ ■'■■cs. -Isi -" 






- 



\- ■ 




212-1938-39, Immeublede rapport AlvYehia Bey 15 , Alexandria, Egypt. (Fanelli, fig. 227; the 

author own photograph) 

213-1939, Manufacture d'Horlogene, 7 avenue de Montrapon, Besancon. 



1? Fanelh states that Perret's design was never executed. However, I assume that Aly Yehia's 
building exists m Alexandria, Egypt. See point 4.2.3. 



-121- 




214-1939, Usine in Issoire, Issoire, Puy-de-D6me. (Fanelli fig 234, see also fig. 235, and 
Champigneulle p. 107) 




215-1939, Eglise de Saint-Benoit, Carmaux, Tarn. ln (Champigneulle p. 105. Fanelli fig. 22 u ) 
216-1939, Deslandre laboratory, 73 rue Dutot, Pans. 
217-1939, project for Nuestro Senor of the mercy chapel. 
218-1939, Project of a residential building, 21 rue Pesfontaines. Algeria. 
219-1939, a -hop at 83 rue Doudeauville, Pans. 

220-1939, Project of a residential complex, Dabat property, Rue du Mont-Valerten, boulevard de 
Versailles, rue de Pierrier, Saint-Cloud, Hauts-de-Seine. 



'"Although Champigneulle published an exterior photograph of this Eglise, Fanelli 
incorrectly claims that Perret's project for this chapel never been erected. 



122- 




,£r-v 



'fes- 

... 
11 



INF"T Ml 



221-1939, a project for Mostafa Kamal Ata- 
Turc Monument. Ankara, Turkey. 

(Cliampigneulle p. 106. Fanelli fig. 250) 




'**<-i»-»>» 1 



222-1939, project of an apartements building, 
Ain Zeboudja park, El Biar, Algeria. 

(Fanelli, fig. 228) 



223-1940, Office for the Freres Perret, 51 rue Raymond, Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine. 
224-*1940, the construction of a Girl secondary school, Marcel Cnstofle architect, Constantine, 

Algeria. 
225-1940, Ga/ tank, Soyaux, Charente. 

226-1940, a project for the Theatre Comoedia. Istamboul, Turkey. 
227-1940, a project of Taroche-]oubert paper mill, Mouveau Saint-Cybard. 




22H-1939-40, a project of aGrand Theatre, stamboul, Turkey. (Fanelli fig 231, 232) 

229-1940. project for Les Thermes de Pans. 

230-1940, project for Les Champs-Elysees and Les Invalides. 

231-1940, project for the Plaine de I' Arc, Berre, 

Marseille Aeroport. r— 

232-1941, Chalet Aime Schmuck, Lac-ou-Villiers, 

Doubs. 




Mar 



ei 1 1 

I'ijiiM 

I IT" I I I" ur 



233-1941-43, Project for the reconstruction of the 
management office building of the Industries 

Navales , Toulone. (Fanelli fig. 236) 

234-1942, Protect of a Festival Hall, Carmaux . 

235-1942, project of an office building for the Navigation management, Quai de Grenelle. Pans. 




-123- 




236-1945, Plan general du Havre, with the collaboration of the architects of the 'ateliers de 

Reconstructio n de la ville de Havre', Le Havre. (Fanelli, fig. 253-265) 

237-1946. Project of an office building for the Berny & Peignot foundry, 14 rue Cabams, Vans. 

23S-1946, Project for Elias Aiead villa, Bem-Suef, Egypt. 

239-1946, Project of Bally 's shop, Boulevard de la Madeleine, Pans. 

240-1946, Project for an office building, Beirut, Lebanon. 







1 i i 
l 111 










■ > 1 1 






















































































•rrth 




tin 






-ttI! ii*"~ 










;i j; SI II 


-H5 


• I I! 










■ TTlii 






■ ■ i ■ i ■ i • 






i r i i i i i ltd 11 


— n II 


in II •< ' 


]»■ w'a i ii ■» ■ 


• ----. 




241-1947, Reconstruction of la place de la gare at Amiens. (Champigneulle p. 124; Rogers p. 165. 
Fanelli fig. 245-252) 

2 ; 

242-1947. Project for a Hangar, with the collaboration of L. Coutry and L Han, Par el I 

Algeria. 
243-1947, Project for Andre Moch monument. 
244-1947-4$, Project for Mangnane airport, near Marseille. 



-124- 



245-1947-49, Project for a museum of Armando Alvares Penteado Art, Rue Itapolis, Rue Alagoas, 

rue Itatiara, San Paulo. 
246-1948, La Tour Perret, Amiens. 




•i ■ r 




247-1948-53, General plan and the construction of the Commissariat a I'Energie atomique, 

Saclay, Es^one. (Fanelli tig. 241, 242, see alsoChampigneulle p. 12b) 

248-1948, Marcel Midy Laboratories (modified in 1972), 76 boulevard Bourdon, Nieuilly-sur- 

Seine, Hauts-de-Seine. 
249-194$. Project of Rene Gosse Mausoleum , Manival, here. 
250-1948, Project for the contemplation city (with the collaboration of Jose Imbert), La Sainte- 

Baume. 
251-*1948, the construction of a Jetty for the harbour of Algeria, project by U. Cassan and J. 

Larras, Algeria. 





i m« wr twrmn -^ 



"V j i - J I. 

u 






2.*- 



*^v 



252-1948, a project of a Stade Olympique , Montesson, near Paris. (Fanelli fig. 239. 240; 

Champigneulle p. 100) 

253-1948-49. Project for la Rochette factory, 51 rue Constannne, Vemzel. Aisne. 

254-1948-49, Tour de souvenir, project of a monument for the French soldiers of Brookicood, 

England. 
255-1949, Project for a concert pavillion, Place Coauillat, Algeria. 
256-1949, Protect of a typical school for the National Education Muustery . 
257-1949, project for Bene airport, Berre. 



-125- 





258-1949, Hangars for the Mangnane aeroport (with the collaboration of Societe des 
Entreprises Boussiron), Marignane, near Maerseille. (Champigneulle p. 123. Fanelli fig. 
237) 

259-1950, residential complex for the Commissariat a l'Energie 
Atomique, Gif-sur-Yvette, Essone. 



260-1950-52, Project for a commemoration monument for Antoine de 
Saint-Exupery, Saint-Raphael, Var. (Fanelli fog. 278) 

261-1951, Project of a garage, Faubourg Saint-Honore. 

262-1951, Project for a residential complex, Boulevard Wallace, rue de Longchamp, 

263-*1951, the construction of studios and depot for the Ecole Nationale Supeneure 
Arts, J. Laurent and j.-L. Humbaire architects, 14 rue Bonaparte, Pans. 

264-2952, Project for Robert Dodane villa, Morteau, Doubs. 

265-1951, Project of an office for Routre-Betrand Fils & Justin Pupont company, rue 
des Bancs, rue du Truce, Argenteine, Seine-et-Oise. 




Bagatelle. 
des Beaux- 



de la Voie 





rTTTTTTv 

266-1952, Eglise Saint-Joseph, (with the collaboration of Raymond Audigier) 
Francois h'"", Le Havre. (Fanelli fig. 269-270, see also fig. 271-27"; Champigneu 



Bou 

le_F_ 



levard 

115) 



-126- 





0B3H 



Jtemsu 

ESfiSi in."'!]] =C _ ** , LJsSeT - II S£™== 




267-1952, Hotel de Ville, Place de I'Hotel de Ville, Le Havre. Note the column Egyptiaruzed 

detail, (Champigneulle p. 114. Fanelli fig. 266-268) 

268-1952, Hangars, Mangnante. 

269-1952, Office building for S.N.E.C.M.A., Avenue Stalingrad, 

Paris. 
270-1951-56, the reconstruction of Vieux Port district (with the 

collaboration of Andre Devin and Fernand Pouillon), 

Marseille. 
271-1953, Project of a chapel. 
272-1953, project for Devaux house , 20 rue des Graviers, Massy, 

Setne-et-Oise. 




273- 1 953-55 17 , Immeuble Weill, 174-176 Boulevard Berthier. 

(Fanelh fig. 243) 

274-*1954, the construction of an Immeuble de rapport, Paul Branche architect, 16 avenue de 

Versailles, Paris. 



1'Fanelli's date for this building is 1951-52. 



-127- 



Appendix II 



Reinforced Concrete: Analysis techniques 



-128- 



Reinforced Concrete: Analysis Techniques 

This list is a review of nondestructive testing techniques for reinforced concrete, stating their 
field use, their advantages and limitations. It should be noted that all the following 
nondestructive test methods could be done in situ. The tests involved in the determination of 
specific heat and the permeability of either gas or liquid are not included because they do not 
withstand the nondestructive nature. 



Technique 


Tests Involved 


Use 


Advantages 


Limitations 


Surface 
Hardness 

(Germany 
1934) 


Williams 
pistol, Frank 
spring, and 
Einbeck 
pendulum 
hammer 


Estimation of 
concrete strength. 


Short time testing. 
20-30% accuracy. 


Extreme care in the use of 
hammers not to destroy 
the surface. Removable of 
any surface finishing. 


Rebound 
Method 
(Svvitzerlan 
d 1948) 


Rebound 
hammer test 
(Schmidt 
rebound 
hammer) 


Elastic rebound of 
concrete, 
estimation of 
concrete strength, 
flexural strength, 
modulusof 
elasticity, and 
comparative 
investigation 


Inexpensive, simple 
and quick. Could be 
conducted 
horizontally, 
vertically upward 
or downward or at 
any intermediate 
angle. 


Calibration procedures is 
difficult, since it depends 
on a chart. The result is 
affected by several surface 
factors. 


Penetration 
Techniques 


a-[Simbi 
hammer 
(1954), Spit 
pins (1954)] 
b-The 

Windsor probe 
(1964-66) 


The penetration 
and pullout 
resistance of 
concrete, strength 
estimations, and 
comparative 
studies 


b-Provides a quick 
means of checking 
quality of concrete 
in situ. 


a- Affected by the 
arrangement of coarse 
aggregate. Damage the 
surface. 

b-Doubtfulcalibration . 
Should be calibrated 
according to each kind of 
aggregate. A destructive 
test leaving a hole. 


Pullout 
Tests 
(USSR, 
1934) 




Pullout resistance 
of concrete, 
strength, and 
comparative 
studies 


Evaluate concrete 
strength of the 
critical member of 
the structure. Easy 
and safe equipment. 


Should be previously 
embedded. Damage of the 
surface. Doesn't 
investigate the core (3 in 
limit). 


Dynamic or 

Vibration 

Methods 


a-Resonant 
frequency 
(USA, 1938) 
b-mechanical 
sonic and 
ultrasonic 
pulse velocity 
methods 
(USA, 1945) 


Durability and 
uniformity of 
concrete. 
Estimate 
strength, elastic 
properties, and 
Poisson's Ratio. 


a-Excellent means 
to study 

deterioration of 
concrete specimens 
subjected to acidic 
and alkali attack 
b-In both the field 
and the laboratory. 
Relatively cheap 
and easy to operate. 
Recommended for 
quality control test. 


a-Laboratory test. Skill 
and experience are needed. 
Small sized specimens. 
b-Require smooth surface 
of contact, and long path 
to avoid heterogeneity of 
concrete. Temperature 
shouldbe5to30°C. 
Concrete should be dry. 
Measurement should be 
taken away from the 
reinforcement bars. 



-129- 



Technique 


Tests Involved 


Use 


Advantages 


Limitations 


Combined 
Methods 


Ultrasonic 
pulse velocity 
and rebound 
hammer 


Estimate the 
strength of the 
concrete 


Simplicity of both 
techniques 
employed, can be 
used in situ. 


Refer to the limitation of 
each test. 


Radioactive 
Methods 


x-ray (1949) 
and gamma- 
ray (1952) 
penetration 
tests, 


Density and 
thickness of 
concrete. Location 
of reinforcement, 
honeycombing. 


Easy to use in situ. 
Gamma rays are 
more portable than 
x-ray equipment. 


Costly, dangerous high 
voltage equipment. 
Safety factors are also 
considered. 


Nuclear 
Methods 


The neutron 
scattering and 
neutron 
activation. 


Moisture and 
cement content 
determination 


In situ test. 


Expensive and 
sophisticated. Could not 
be used with calcareous 
aggregates because 
calcium offers poor 
sensitivity to fast neutron 
activation 


Magnetic 
Methods 


Pachometer 
and cover 
meters 


Determining 
cover or 

reinforcement to 
concrete 


Give satisfactory 
results if members 
are lightly 
reinforced. 
Accurate (0.25 in 
accuracy) 


In heavily reinforced 
section, the secondary 
reinforcement could not be 
eliminated. Calibrated to 
round steel bars only. 
Could not be operated 
below 32 F. 


Electrical 
Methods 


-Dielectric 

measurements 

-Electrical 

resistivity 

probes. 


Measure moisture 
content and 
thickness of 
concrete. 


Simple testing 
equipment and 
testing procedures. 
Cheap portable 
units. 


Air entrapment, mix 
proportions, density, steel 
reinforcement have great 
effects on resistivity 
measurements. High- 
frequency currents are 
used. 


Microwave 
Absorption 
Techniques 




Measure moisture 
content and 
thickness of 
concrete 




Equipment has to be 
developed. 


Acoustic 
Emission 
Techniques 




Study the 
initiation and 
growth of cracks 
in concrete. 


Evaluation of 
loading levels. 
Monitor structural 
members to locate 
the origin of 
cracking and 
deterioration. 


Very expensive 
equipment. It has to be 
developed. Readings are 
only during the period of 
increasing deformation 
and stress 



-130- 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 



-131- 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 

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Abdel-Gavvad, Tevvfik. ' Amaliqa El Emmara fi el Karn el Eshrcen (The Pioneers of 

Architecture in the 20th Century,) Cairo. 1989 
Abdel Hakim, S.. Medinet el Iskandariyeh (The City of Alexandria), Cairo 1958 
Abu Lughod, Janet. Cairo 1001 years of City Victorious. Princeton, 1971 
— / An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians, Vol. 1, London, 1836. 
Al-Asad, Mohammad, The Mosque of Al-Rifai In Cairo, Muqarnas, vol. 10, Leiden-E.J. Brill 

1993, pp. 108-124. 
Asfour, Khaled. Cairene traditions inside Palladian villas, Traditional Dwellings and 

Settlements Review, vol. IV, No. 11, Sring 1993, pp. 39-50. 
Awad, Mohammed Fouad. The Impact of Economic Change on the Structure and Function of the 
Building Industry in Egypt (1925-1985), a doctoral dissertation presented to the 
Department of Architecture, Alexandria University, 1992. 
Awad, Mohammed Fouad. Le Modele Europeen: [/evolution Urbaine de 1807 a 1958, in La 
Revue de L'Occident Musulman et de la Mediterranee; Alexandrie entre deux mondes. 
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Awad, Mohammed Fouad. Italy in Alexandria "Egypt"; An Account of Italian Influence on the 
City's Architecture and the Development of its Built Environment (1834-1985), paper 
presented to the Annual International Symposium of "Presence of Italy in the 
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L'Annuaire des Societes par Action. Alexandria, 1952. 

CAPMAS. Alexandria: Population and Building Census. Preliminary Report, 1986. 
Clerget, Marcel. Le Caire. 2 vols, Cairo, 1934. 

Cowan, H.J. A Historical Outline of Architectural Science, London, 1977. 
De Guerville. La Nouvelle Egypte. Pans, 1905. 
Delpart, A. Comment Financer les Constructions Nouvelles en Egypte, in L'Annuaire de 

Batiment. Alexandria, 1948. 
Dix, Gerald B. Alexandria 2005: Planning for the Future of an Historic City, in EK1STICS, vol. 

53, No. 318/319, May/June-July/ August, 1986, pp. 177-186. 
El Gazayerli, El Iskendereyieh Fi fagr El Karm El Eshreen (Alexandria in the Dawn of the 

20th Century), Cairo, 1968. 
Elon, Amos. Letter from Alexandria, in The New Yorker, July 18, 1988, pp. 42-53. 
El Iskendereyieh Fi Eid El Thawra El Sabeh (Alexandria in the Revolution Festival), A 

commemorative book on Alexandria in 1959, Alexandria, 1959. 
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Emmara, M. Ali Mobarak. Cairo, 1984. 

Fraster, Peter M. Alexandria from Mohamed Ali to Gamal Abdel Nasser, in Alexandrien 
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Gohary, M. Kosour wi Tohaf min Mohammed AM ila Farouk (Palaces and glories from 

Mohammed Ali to Farouk), Cairo, 1954. 
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